Russian Prison Guard Charged With Murdering Inmate

A court in Russia has ordered pretrial detention for a sixth prison guard accused of involvement in the severe beating of an inmate in the Yaroslavl region.

The Zavolzhye District Court in Yaroslavl, northeast of Moscow, on July 26 remanded Dmitry Solovyov, a junior inspector at Corrections Colony No. 1, to pretrial detention for two months.

On July 25, the court ordered two months of pretrial detention for five other prison guards from the same prison and extended the detention of a seventh suspect, deputy warden Ivan Kalashnikov, by an additional 72 hours pending a ruling on whether he will also be remanded for trial.

The officers were detained after a video showing the beating of an inmate identified as Yevgeny Makarov was published by the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta and circulated widely on the Internet last week.

The video, which the Public Verdict rights organization said was shot at the penitentiary last year, showed Makarov lying on a desk without pants while two people in uniform hold his hands behind his back. At least 10 other uniformed men repeatedly strike his legs and heels with rubber truncheons and fists, while he cries out and begs them to stop.

The Investigative Committee said on July 23 that all the officers in the video had been identified and a probe had been launched into what it called "a crime."

A lawyer who gave Novaya Gazeta the video has fled the country while seeking protection from state law enforcement authorities.

On July 25, the Investigative Committee said that a prison guard, who was not identified, in the western Bryansk region had been charged with murdering an unidentified inmate and abuse of power.

The guard "bound [the inmate's] face with a cloth, as a result of which the latter died of asphyxiation," the committee said in a statement. It said the incident occurred on July 22.

Also on July 25, a lawyer of with the nongovernmental Zona Prava rights group, Sergei Loktev, said an investigation had been launched into complaints from two students the western city of Voronezh who alleged that local police tortured them to compel them to confess to stealing a mobile phone in May.

According to Loktev, two police officers handcuffed the university students, Sergei Troyansky and Maksim Grebenyuk, and stepped on their cuffed hands to inflict pain.

Loktev said the police also placed plastic bags with ammonia in them over the teenagers' heads.

The young men refused to confess and filed a lawsuit against the two police officers.

Police in Voronezh said on July 26 that an internal investigation had been launched into the allegations.

On July 25, United Nations human rights experts urged Russian authorities to prosecute alleged widespread cases of torture in Russian prisons and labor camps, including beatings, electric shocks, and suffocation.

With reporting by Mediazona, Interfax, and TASS