A court in Russia has ordered two months of pretrial detention for five prison guards suspected of involvement in the severe beating of an inmate.
The Zavolzhye district court in the city of Yaroslavl also ruled on July 25 that a sixth suspect, deputy prison warden Ivan Kalashnikov, must remain in custody for another 72 hours pending a ruling on whether he will also be jailed.
The Investigative Committee said on July 23 that six officers of Corrective Colony No. 1 in Yaroslavl, northeast of Moscow, 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 Public Verdict NGO said was shot at the penitentiary, showed Makarov lying on a desk without pants while two people in uniform forcibly 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 and begs them to stop beating him.
The Investigative Committee said that all the officers on the video had been identified and a probe was 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.
The Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) said on July 24 that it will investigate all reports about violence in penitentiaries across Russia in 2017.
Meanwhile, Deputy Justice Minister Mikhail Galperin, leading Russia's delegation at a hearing of the UN Committee against Torture in Geneva, said strict rules governed the use of force in prisons.
But panel chairman Jens Modvig replied that "there is no rule ensuring that punishment for torture corresponds to the seriousness of the crime," adding, "this is more regrettable in that torture is practiced widely."