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Official claims no marks were found on tortured opposition activist's body

November 01, 2016, 21:02 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Opposition activist Ildar Dadin, who is the first person sentenced to a prison term in Russia for participation in unauthorized protests, has in letter written that he had been tortured and abused
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© Alexandra Mudrats/TASS

MOSCOW, November 1. /TASS/. Jailed activist Ildar Dadin himself and medical examination has not confirmed that he was subjected to torture, a deputy director of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service told TASS on Tuesday.

Valery Maksimenko said agency checks have been launched with the participation of service’s officers after media reports about tortures of Ildar Dadin.

Dadin is the first person sentenced in Russia for violation of Article 212.1 of the Russian criminal code (repeated violations of the rules of public gatherings). In December 2015, Moscow’s Basmanny court found Dadin guilty of four episodes of participation in unauthorized protests in 2014 in downtown Moscow.

Dadin was sentenced to three years in a penal colony, and then the Moscow City Court decided to cut his jail term to two and a half years. He is serving his sentence in IK-7 penal colony.

"Not a single mark of bodily harm has been found on Dadin as of the moment. He himself confirms this in a video recording. The conclusions of medical staff have been set down," Valery Maksimenko said.

He said agency check were launched after reports about alleged tortures of Ildar Dadin, involving service’s officers. "Special attention is paid to the dates, when, as Dadin maintains, he was allegedly beaten up - all CCTV data of these time fragments is studied," he said.

Maksimenko said it was established that on September 12 Dadin had handcuffs on. This fact was duly recorded as it is the practice, and agency checks have been made into this incident, the results sent to the prosecutor’s office, he said.

If checks show abuse of power, the officers responsible for that will be immediately sacked and a probe will be opened. "This was the decision of Federal Penitentiary Service’s Director Gennady Korniyenko," Maksimenko said.

Russia’s Investigative Committee said on Tuesday it has launched a probe after mass media reported that jailed activist Ildar Dadin was subjected to torture in a penal colony in Karelia, northwestern Russia.

The checks are carried out into "publications in mass media on the use of torture against a convict who is serving his sentence in the IK-7 penal colony," the local investigative department told TASS.

In a letter, published by the mass media, Dadin writes that he was tortured and abused by the personnel in the colony in the Segezhsky district of Karelia. Russia’s prison authority, the Federal Penitentiary Service, has also launched its own investigation.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier in the day that Russian President Vladimir Putin would be informed of the situation with Dadin. "Certainly, this case deserves very careful attention, first of all, of course, of relevant agencies, and in this case this is the Federal Penitentiary Service," he added.

Russian human rights commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova said she had received photos of Dadin that have "no signs of beatings." The regional department of the Federal Penitentiary Service has not confirmed that Dadin was beaten or received threats, she added.

Prosecutors in Karelia, in northwestern Russia, said on Tuesday they have launched checks into complaints of jailed activist Ildar Dadin about alleged beatings in a penal colony.

"The checks are ongoing. We will look into everything what he wrote about," Prosecutor Igor Khrapchenkov told TASS, giving no details on when the results of the investigation will be announced.

Representatives of the prosecution, who oversee the compliance with the laws in penal colonies, regularly visit the facility where Dadin is serving his sentence, he said, adding that they are currently there.

Russian human rights commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova said she hopes that the outcome of checks will be known by the end of this week.

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