Russia’S Criminal System Is Waiting For Navani
2021-02-20 | by CusiGO
Rusl á n vajapov should have been given a new mattress, pillow and sheet when he arrived at the ik-1 criminal colony in the Russian town of Yaroslavl. But on the bunk of the two bedroom barracks he shared with 130 other prisoners, waiting for him was another prisoner’s property. “Nothing else. Bed full of bedbugs, four bathrooms and four washbasins for more than 100 people, no hot water. There’s also work, “the 39 year old recalled. After a leaked video revealed that a prisoner had been beaten, the center exposed the case for more than a month, which civil rights groups believed was a fabrication. Vajibov, a carrier, was arrested in 2012 for urinating on the side of the road and sentenced to contact minors for refusing to bribe the authorities, his lawyer said.
Russia’s prison system is based on facilities such as ik-1. Inherited from the criminal colony of the former Soviet Union, it is composed of a center surrounded by barbed wire and accordion. There are large wooden houses or brick houses. Prisoners live in large rooms. No matter what the crime is, prisoners are together, although there are more or less strict colonies according to the severity of the crime. A structure developed from the labor camp in Gulag, the Soviet Union, where prisoners had to work, just as they did at the time. Colonies, mostly scattered over a wide geographical area of Eurasian countries, where specialized organizations reported continuing violations of human rights. “Slave labor, lack of medical care, ill treatment, torture,” said ina bazibina, coordinator of the Russian prison organization. “Deep down, Gulag is still Gulag,” he said.
This is the system that the main opponent Alexei navalny will soon face. On Saturday, a Moscow court rejected his appeal and granted the activist three and a half years in prison. On February 2, the main critic of the Kremlin was convicted of violating parole provisions in a controversial 2014 judgment, which the European Court of human rights in Strasbourg four years ago called “arbitrary and unjust.”. Navani, 44, known for exposing corruption scandals in Russia’s economic and political elites, missed a mandatory judicial review when Germany recovered from Siberian poisoning last August. It was an attack on Soviet era military neurotoxins, directly accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin, and then the West offered a helping hand to the Kremlin.
Russia’s justice ministry has yet to determine which colony navani will go to, and there are other judicial proceedings under way in navani, who was fined about 9500 euros on Saturday for slandering a World War II veteran– They may still be incarcerated indefinitely until they are resolved. In addition, as reported by organizations such as Amnesty International, transfers tend to be long and opaque, and these organizations describe prisoners travelling in closed and windowless carriages, sometimes as long as a month, until they reach their destination colonies. So far, Russian authorities have ignored domestic and international pressure, as well as the ruling of the Strasbourg Court on Wednesday, which demanded the release of the activist in a rare preventive resolution.
There are many varieties. According to the Ministry of justice, there are about 670 criminal colonies in Russia, with only 10 prisons (prisons more similar to those in the west, with small cells, usually used for pre-trial or pre-trial detention). In Kaliya, a sparsely populated country bordering on Finland, the oligarch, Mijail hodorkovski, spent some time there, where he passed a Siberian colony, where he was convicted of a political fraud case, where he sewed gloves; in the white sea; in modua, where Nadia tolokonnikova stayed for several years, From the punk cat riot movement, after protesting against Putin at Moscow Cathedral in primori, police uniforms were prepared to pay fines for “acts of sabotage out of religious hatred.”, In the Far East, close to the sea of Japan, the geographical location is scattered, which is related to the concept of economic development in the Soviet era. At that time, the forced labor of prisoners played a vital role in the national structure.
Proportionally, Russia has the largest number of prisoners in Europe, though far from the United States or Brazil. In Eurasian countries (about 144 million residents), 483000 people are serving sentences today. EVA mecachova, a criminal colony expert and member of several official committees, explained that in 2020, the number of prisoners will be less than 500000 for the first time. She stressed that there is no concept of “misdemeanor” in the criminal code, which leads to a very high proportion of imprisonment. In addition, only a small number of court cases were eventually acquitted. “When I started visiting the prison, I saw that there were too many prisoners, some had to sleep on the floor, some had made hammocks on their beds, and the food was terrible and smelled bad,” merkachova said in a phone call, In the eight years he has studied Russian detention centers, he said, things have improved.
Alexei poliyovic thinks he’s lucky in a way. In 2012, the 22-year-old was arrested in Moscow’s bolotnaya Square during a large-scale demonstration against election fraud and Vladimir Putin, and was sentenced to three years and six months’ imprisonment for his involvement in “riots” and threats or use of safety and health violence against government officials. However, he had to serve his sentence in a “nearby” colony in riyazan, just four hours’ drive from the Russian capital. “My parents can come and go in one day. Unlike other people, they have to fly and spend a lot of money to see the people they love,” boriovic, who became an activist today, said on the phone.
Oleg Novikov of the public verdict foundation, a legal aid group, said there was no law requiring prisoners to be close to their families, noting that colonial authorities used visits from their relatives to exert pressure, extort and punish prisoners.
According to the informal division in the extensive prison culture of the Soviet Union, the Russian male colonies were divided into red and cruel centers, which were firmly controlled by the warden. The rules there were very strict, and many cases of torture and black people were found, There, the rules were lighter, and the colonial criminal leaders negotiated with prison authorities and informally “controlled” other prisoners through tacit rules. Boriovic is in a black house. “A good Cologne,” he said. “It can even be called a” commercial colony “because the system is more flexible, and if someone violates the rules, the situation can be solved by paying,” he said. He worked eight hours five days a week in a prison textile workshop, earning 400 rubles a month (slightly more than 4 euros). Polijovich said his salary was in the form of cigarettes, which he used to “buy small services.”.
According to the law, the maximum working day could not exceed 40 hours per week, which also meant that prisoners in criminal colonies had to be paid. Contribution to work also guarantees incentives, such as extra visits. However, activist bazibina pointed out that the rules were not followed. Some people can’t work and are punished. Or they are forced to do so in positions that offer only a few rubles a month. A prisoner said in a handwritten letter that if she had money to buy glasses, she could work in a sewing shop in the city center and make more money from it.
Tania Kuznetsova, with a month’s salary, bought a bottle of soluble coffee and two bags of the cheapest candy at the Cologne store. The 53 year old woman served six and a half years in a penitentiary in a fraud case at a travel agency she worked for. She said her working day was 12 hours a day, six days a week; in order to “circumvent” labor standards and possible inspections, prison authorities forced female prisoners to sign agreements on their “voluntary” overtime, taking into account the distance between the center and Moscow.
The federal prison service is a strong financial institution. The colonies signed contracts with state organizations (sometimes private organizations), and the production quota was not regulated by law, so it was sometimes maximized. In addition, in some areas, such as Moldova, the contribution of criminal colonies is crucial to the regional budget. Inna bazhibina points out that the work machines thrown away by prisoners will never stop.
Tania Kuznetsova, the Russian prison coordinator, said that despite such a huge structure, prisoners often lack basic commodities. Tania Kuznetsova said that all prisoners in her colony had to wear uniform and clothes continuously, but they only got one set and did not change it. “So, without the opportunity to change or clean, some girls try to sew another dress by stealing cloth from the factory or reselling it,” she said. Only once during her entire time in prison did she receive a package of medical equipment: Travel Size toothpaste, toothbrush, paper and sanitary napkins. Only once, shoes. “The sole is as thin as paper and can’t support it. Finally, we found the slippers they used to bury the dead on the label, “the woman said.
Oleg Novikov, a spokesman, explained that organizations like the public verdict – which helped expose RASLAN’s torture in Yaroslavl prison and successfully convicted several police officers – recorded many cases of labor exploitation. However, it is difficult for prisoners to report. They are afraid of revenge. There are many “opportunities” to punish prisoners. Activist Constantine Kotov was held in solitary confinement for wearing gloves lent to him by another prisoner. Khodorkovsky tycoon, because he took some fruit from other prisoners after a day’s dinner. Punishments that separate key prisoners from other prisoners and their close relatives are “more common” in well-known cases than physical violence. For others, the reality is different, says vajpov, who now helps other prisoners navigate the complex criminal system. Twice a year, he talks about “preventive” beatings, lack of health care and criminalization of patients: “in Russia, the culture of impunity prevails in criminal colonies.”