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NALCHIK, April 13 /TASS/. Prisoners in a pre-trial detention center in Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, a republic in Russia’s North Caucasus, have cut their veins and gone on hunger strike in protest against the wardens’ brutal treatment, the Federal Prison Service department for Kabardino-Balkaria told TASS on Tuesday.
"On April 11, six convicts and defendants kept in a pre-trial detention center of the Federal Prison Service department for Kabardino-Balkaria notified [the prison authorities] in writing of a hunger strike. Seven convicts and defendants used a disposable razor blade to inflict light cuts to their forearms and the stomach area. All of them received medical aid; their life and health are out of danger. The suspects, defendants and convicts said that wardens’ violent treatment was the root cause behind their disobedience act," Madina Zabarova, the department’s representative, said.
She added that all information about the incident had been posted on the website of the Federal Prison Service department for Kabardino-Balkaria whose leaders are currently visiting the pre-trial detention center.
"Prosecutors have also launched their probe into the incident. For the moment, the pre-trial detention ward is functioning normally. The situation there is under control," Zabarova added.
Information on the disobedience act differs. According to the inmates’ relatives, about 30 prisoners cut their veins while more than 80% of the inmates went on hunger strike. In their video address to Mikhail Fedotov, the head of the presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, and human rights activists of Kabardino-Balkaria, which the women had posted on the republican human rights center website, they said that their sons and husbands were subject to brutal treatment and that forced them to show disobedience as the last resort.