Podcast No. 61: Simon & Sergei – with Danil Beglets

This week our guest on the podcast is Danil Beglets. Danil Beglets is the first defendant in the ‘Moscow case’ convicted to a real sentence to have been released on parole.

The issues we discuss in the podcast include: What happened on 27 July 2019 during the protest over the barring of independent candidates from the Moscow City Duma elections? Why were you detained? What were the conditions in pre-trial detention? What was the trial like? What was the process of transfer to prison like? How has your experience changed you? Did human rights defenders help you? What were the conditions in the penal colony? Is religion respected in the penal colony? How do you evaluate the law enforcement and judicial systems in Russia? What are your plans for the future?

This podcast is in Russian. You can listen to the podcast in full here:

Given the length of the podcast, we have also divided it into three sections that you can listen to separately.

Part One: arrest on 27 July 2019; remanding in custody; conditions in pre-trial detention; trial; conviction; transfer to prison:

Part Two: the penitentiary system; impact of imprisonment on life after release; opinion of human rights defenders; plans for the future:

Part Three: conditions in the penal colony; discrimination on the basis of religion:

You can also listen to the podcast on Podcasts.com,  SoundCloud,  Spotify  and  iTunes

The music, from Stravinsky’s Elegy for Solo Viola, is performed for us by Karolina Herrera.

Sergei Nikitin writes on Facebook: “I went and found a box, tore off a piece of cardboard and wrote on it – I am NOT a slave. I went to my baracks, got dressed, took a mattress, took a bag of books and sat down in front of the ‘White House’ [the administration building of Mtsensk Colony No. 7]. I put the mattress on the ground, set up the cardboard sign in protest that I am not a slave, sat down, and started reading a book.” Simon Cosgrove and I spent an evening with an unusual guest: Danil Beglets, a self-employed busnessman from Moscow’s Mytishchi district, happened to be on Bolshaya Dmitrovka street on 27 July 2019 where he was caught up in the general confusion during a protest against the barring of independent candidates from the Moscow city Duma elections. He was released on parole on 2 November 2020, a man who has learned what life in a Russian prison is like. He cannot understand why the authorities perpetrate injustice. Danil, whom his former business partner described as ‘kind, open, sometimes too generous, because he helps people who don’t always need to be helped,’ joined the number of human rights defenders who became such by chance. Police cells, remand centres, prison trains, Penal Colony No. 2 in Kostroma region, Penal Colony No. 7 in Mtsensk, Oryol region… It’s all behind him now. Danil lost his business, but he is full of energy: he plans to open a cafe, and now he wants to help people who suffer from the lawlessness behind barbed wire that is the Russian penitentiary system.

Simon Cosgrove adds: If you want to listen to this podcast on the podcasts.com website and it doesn’t seem to play, please download by clicking on the three dots to the right. A summary of some of the week’s events in Russia relevant to human rights can be found on our website here.

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