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Release of the Ukrainian political prisoner Alexander Kostenko. Unpublished information

Артур Абашев

Now, when Kostenko is already far from the Kirov region, I can write a little more about his release, about facts that were not published by the media. When using materials, a hyperlink to the blog «7x7» is required.

Earlier release

Term of Alexander Kostenko was to end on August 5, but since it is a day off, such convicts are released on Fridays. Kostenko was no exception, so he left the prison.

Became repeat violator a month before the release

More than a month before the release, Kostenko twice received a few days of a punishment cell, and then was placed in the ward-type room, where he spent all the time until his release. Kostenko was kept there with a convict who allegedly had tuberculosis.

Release

The day before the release, members of the Public Monitoring Committee visited Kostenko to find out the exact time of release, but none of the administration of the institution gave a clear answer (they said they would release him about 9 to 12 am). This morning we arrived at the colony by 9 am: I, Denis Shadrin and the Ukrainian consul. We were ready to stand at the entrance to the colony until the evening, as we assumed that the staff would be temporizing.

Around 11 am a colony employee appeared with a video camera and prepared to shoot the entrance. It became clear that Kostenko would now be released. The assumption was justified, in a minute Kostenko appeared.

Passport

The release certificate stated that Kostenko got two passports (Ukrainian and Russian). In fact, only the Ukrainian passport was given back to him. Our attempt to find the Russian passport took about an hour, but we did not succeed. The application for failure to issue the Russian passport was registered in the office, the meeting with the colony chief did not clarify anything. Kostenko does not consider himself a citizen of Russia, but for a safe travel across Russia a passport might be useful. Besides, it is unclear how his Russian passport is going to be used by those who have appropriated it.

Are the Kirov colonies different from the Yaroslavl ones

While driving, I asked Kostenko about the situation in the colony, about whether the employees beat convicts. Kostenko said yes, the operative staff take prisoners to their office, but they usually leave no marks. He himself was not beaten in the colony. I also asked about SIZO-1 in Kirov, he answered that the convicts are beaten when they come to the colony, but for that purpose employees involve detainees assigned to facility-related work.

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