Week-ending 12 November 2021
Days after the Russian authorities dismissed a criminal case against Sergei Savelyev, a former prison inmate who was instrumental in making public videos of torture in a Russian prison and is now seeking asylum in France, this week the authorities announced Vladimir Osechkin, the founder of Gulagu.net which published Savelyev’s leaked videos, was on their wanted list. Vladimir Osechkin has lived in France since 2015. His name was added to the wanted list two days after Gulagu.net published more videos of torture in a prison hospital in Saratov region.
The Moscow Times, 12 November 2021: Russia has added the founder of a prominent prisoners’ rights NGO that has leaked video of alleged widespread prison torture to its wanted list for a second time, the activist said Friday. Gulagu.net founder Vladimir Osechkin, who has lived in France since 2015, was added to Russia’s wanted list two days after the NGO published a new batch of videos showing graphic torture and rape of inmates at a Saratov region prison hospital.
RFE/RL, 12 November 2021: Russian authorities have added the founding leader of a human rights group that recently released a second batch of videos purportedly showing torture and rape at a prison hospital to the country’s list of wanted criminals.Vladimir Osechkin’s name appeared on the wanted persons registry of Russia’s Interior Ministry on November 11, two days after his Gulagu.net organization released a second batch of videos that Osechkin says were recorded in the OTB-1 tuberculosis infirmary between July 2015 and September 2020.
RFE/RL, 7 November 2021: Russian prosecutors in the southern region of Rostov have opened a criminal investigation into the torture of inmates at a prison hospital, local rights activists said. Igor Omelchenko, the chairman of the local Public Monitoring Commission, told Meduza news agency that the case was opened in September and focuses on the torture of prisoners at Interregional Tuberculosis Hospital No. 19.
RFE/RL, 8 November 2021: Russian prosecutors in the southern region of Rostov have opened a criminal investigation into the torture of inmates at a prison hospital, local rights activists said. Igor Omelchenko, the chairman of the local Public Monitoring Commission, told Meduza news agency that the case was opened in September and focuses on the torture of prisoners at Interregional Tuberculosis Hospital No. 19.
The Guardian, 8 November 2021: The videos from the Russian prison hospital are almost too horrific to describe. In the worst, the victims are tied down while other inmates rape or penetrate them with metal objects, the screams and abuse recorded in bodycam footage that was later used as blackmail. Sergey Savelyev says he spent two of his years as an inmate secretly copying hundreds of videos of rape and other abuse, taking them from an internal network in a prison hospital that activists call one of the country’s most notorious torture chambers. “I was always scared,” he said in an interview from France, where he has requested asylum. “If I ever talked about what I was doing, I wouldn’t be talking to you today.”
RFE/RL, 10 November 2021: The Russian human rights group Gulagu.net has released new videos purportedly showing instances of torture and rape in a prison hospital in the city of Saratov. The group said the clips published on YouTube on November 9 had been recorded in the OTB-1 tuberculosis infirmary between July 2015 and September 2020. The nine videos appear to show instances of anal and oral rape allegedly recorded in the infirmary. Seven of them have dates on them.
The Moscow Times, 10 November 2021: A prominent NGO that tracks abuses in Russia’s prison system has released a new leaked video that shows inmates being sexually assaulted in a notorious prison hospital at the heart of a national torture scandal.
The Moscow Times, 10 November 2021: Russian prosecutors on Wednesday dismissed the criminal case against a former prison inmate who leaked videos of torture inside a Russian jail and is now seeking asylum in France. Last month, the Gulagu.net NGO published footage of abuse at a prison in the central city of Saratov. The videos were leaked by Sergei Savelyev — a Belarus national who had served time there for drug trafficking.