On Monday, the situation at a penitentiary in the Ural city of Kopeisk, where the prisoners staged a protest action last Saturday, still remained unclear. On Monday morning, the Federal Penitentiary Service department in the Chelyabinsk Region stated that the mutiny is over. But the human rights activists claimed that the situation is far from being settled.
On Monday, the statements about “a successful settlement of the conflict” between the authorities of the penitentiary number six and the prisoners were posted on the official websites of the law enforcement agencies, the Novye Izvestia daily reported. According to the official version, the prisoners demanded loosen the imprisonment regime and release the convicted mafia bosses from the punishment cell (according to the human rights activists, real demands of the prisoners were just to conduct a prosecutor’s inquiry in the activities of the prison authorities, which had allegedly extorted the money from the relatives of the prisoners, and those, whose families failed to pay the illegal fees, were brought to the punishment cell). “The situation at the penitentiary number six is stable and fully under control of the prison authorities now,” the press service of the Chelyabinsk regional department of the Federal Penitentiary Service reported. The press service also rejected the reports about the police riot commandoes put in action and a massive hunger strike: “No convicts officially went on a hunger strike.”
The Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily noted that the dramatic events at the penitentiary received the first assessments in the regional government on Monday. “The situation at the regional penitentiaries is tense. Massive tortures and suicides are reported there. The system, which was built by the former regional penitentiary department, is obviously malign and should be changed,” Governor Mikhail Yurevich said.
Neither the human rights activists nor the relatives are going to leave the territory next to the penitentiary, where they came to make sure that their convicted relatives are all right, the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily reported. “Now about 40 relatives of the convicts are staying at the penitentiary. But their number is changing every hour, as new cars are driving up to the gates of the penal colony. Those who arrived there do not leave the territory near the penitentiary. One woman has her whole face in frost bites. But she is not going to leave, unless she makes sure that her husband, who is imprisoned at the penitentiary, is all right,” coordinator of the movement Gulagu.net in the Chelyabinsk Region Oksana Trufanova told the newspaper.