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Jailed Russian activist refuses to change prison

In December 2015, a court found Russian activist Ildar Dadin guilty of four episodes of participation in unauthorized protests in 2014 in downtown Moscow

MOSCOW, November 9. /TASS/. Jailed Russian activist Ildar Dadin, who complained of torture and abuse in his prison, has turned down the offer of being transferred to another penitentiary facility, a senior Russian human rights official told TASS.

"In our opinion, Dadin should be transferred to another penal colony, but he flatly refused, and asked us not to press for his transfer. He says that he cannot leave other inmates once he started fighting for their rights and he is ready to sacrifice himself for the cause," said Igor Kalyapin, a member of the Presidential Human Rights Council, who recently visited the jail where Dadin is serving his sentence for participation in unauthorized protests.

Kalyapin, who is the chairperson of the Interregional Committee Against Torture, also said late on Tuesday that Human Rights Council members, who visited the prison, believe that Dadin’s complaints may be founded.

"I cannot say that it is a legally proven fact, but we have such thoughts," he said, adding that the activists were not provided with significant amount of requested footage from CCTV and portable cameras worn by wardens.

"We were shown a clip where Dadin refuses to leave his cell for a search and physical measures are applied against him lawfully. However, there is no footage showing the start of the incident, while Dadin claims that he refused to come out because half an hour before he was dragged out of his cell and beaten up," Kalyapin continued.

The official said that other inmates, who were kept separately and thus could not conspire, confirmed Dadin’s words.

He added that the prison’s chiefs failed to provide the team of activists with documents concerning penalties imposed on Dadin, and "this leaves the matter open whether the penalties imposed on him were lawful."

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.