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Sverdlovsk region inmates stage disobedience action

May 30, 2013, 12:07 UTC+3

The inmates placed a video address on the website of the regional observer commission, claiming a violation of their rights

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YEKATERINBURG, May 30 (Itar-Tass) - Inmates at a maximum security penitentiary in the town of Nevyansk, Sverdlovsk region, staged a disobedience action as two groups refused to go to the mess hall for breakfast. The inmates placed a video address on the website of the regional observer commission, claiming a violation of their rights.

Personnel from the regional department of the Federal Penitentiary Service /FSIN/, prosecutors and rights activists are now with a fact-finding mission on the premises of the penitentiary, spokesman for the regional FSIN department Alexander Levchenko told Itar-Tass.

"The information coming from the prison is controversial; it is being checked," Levchenko said.

"Nobody has brought forward any demands. A check is underway; its results will be announced later," according to the spokesman.

Meanwhile, Sverdlovsk region public observer commission member Vyacheslav Bashkov said the disobedience action had started because of an act of violence committed by prison personnel and prison "activists."

Group # 7 has barricaded itself in a room and hung out banners, rights activists said.

"The situation is under control," the spokesman for the regional FSIN department assured.

It is not the first disobedience action in Ural prisons. On November 24, 2012, a group of 500 inmates in the prison located in the town of Kopeisk, refused to obey the administration's demands insisting on easing the regulations. Investigators said unidentified persons armed themselves with metal pipes, sticks and stones, and staged riots near the prison where they offered armed resistance to special task force police.

Several criminal cases over the riot were opened. Criminal proceedings against prison chief Denis Mekhanov were opened as well. The investigator said Mekhanov had repeatedly ordered his subordinates to collect fees from inmates, and that it was the main reason behind the protest. Hundreds of statements were taken from inmates who had claimed extortion of 5,000 to 90,000 roubles under the threat of creating "unfavorable prison conditions."

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