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Independent medics to examine jailed Russian activist over torture allegations

Deputy director of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service Valery Maksimenko pledged that the results of the checks will be immediately made public

MOSCOW, November 1. /TASS/. Medics, recommended by human rights activists, will visit on Wednesday a penal colony in Russia’s northwestern Karelia to examine jailed activist Ildar Dadin to find out whether he was subjected to torture, a deputy director of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service told Tass on Tuesday.

"Tomorrow, independent medical specialists will visit Dadin in a penal colony to examine him as to some bodily harm or injuries testifying to physical abuse," Valery Maksimenko said.

He said the medical commission will consist of specialists recommended by human rights activists to make maximally objective conclusions as to whether Dadin was tortured or not. Maksimenko pledged that the results of the checks will be immediately made public.

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. He is serving his sentence in IK-7 penal colony.

Russia’s Investigative Committee said on Tuesday it has launched a probe after mass media reported that Dadin was subjected to torture in a penal colony in Karelia, northwestern Russia.

The checks are carried out into "publications in mass media on the use of torture against a convict who is serving his sentence in the IK-7 penal colony," the local investigative department told TASS.

In a letter, published by the mass media, Dadin writes that he was tortured and abused by the personnel in the colony in the Segezhsky district of Karelia. Russia’s prison authority, the Federal Penitentiary Service, has also launched its own investigation.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier in the day that Russian President Vladimir Putin would be informed of the situation with Dadin. "Certainly, this case deserves very careful attention, first of all, of course, of relevant agencies, and in this case this is the Federal Penitentiary Service," he added.