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MOSCOW, December 2. /TASS/. No objective evidence to prove jailed activist Ildar Dadin’s claims of being tortured in a Karelian penal colony, in northwestern Russia, could be found so far, members of Russia’s Presidential Council for Civil Society Development and Human Rights said in a report.
"No evidence has been found to prove Dadin’s claims regarding actions taken against him on September 11 and 12, 2016, as well as the claims against the penal colony staff’s actions being legitimate," the report reads. "Neither video recordings nor the prisoner’s personal file have been brought up. Since the events took place a while ago, no signs of injuries could be detected on Dadin’s body, apart from some signs on both his palms," the document explains.
The report also says that the penal colony staff misled the Human Rights Council members on the period of retaining the video recordings in question.
"In accordance with the Russian Justice Ministry’s order and the Federal Penitentiary Service regulations, surveillance videos should be retained for up to one year. So, the penal colony staff violated the relevant norms by failing to preserve the surveillance videos, or deliberately covered up the videos preventing the Human Rights Council members and Human Rights Ombudsperson from getting access to them," the report says.
The Karelian department of Russia’s Investigative Committee said earlier that investigators had found no evidence to support jailed activist Ildar Dadin’s claims of torture. The Investigative Committee concluded that physical force had been applied to Dadin and special tools used only when he was refusing to obey the penal colony personnel’s legitimate demands to leave his cell so that it could be searched. Physical force was also applied when Dadin behaved aggressively during a medical check-up.
Dadin is the first person in Russia sentenced for violation of Article 212.1 of the Criminal Code (repeated violations of the rules of public gatherings). In December 2015, Moscow’s Basmanny District Court found Dadin guilty on four counts of participating in unauthorized protests in Moscow. Dadin was sentenced to three years in a penal colony but then the Moscow City Court reduced his jail term to two and a half years. However, his defense attorney filed an appeal against the sentence to the Russian Supreme Court.