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Prisoners 'Tortured' After Russian Jail Fire

The maximum-security labor camp in Krasnokamensk, Siberia
The maximum-security labor camp in Krasnokamensk, Siberia
KRASNOKAMENSK, Russia -- Local human rights activists say prisoners have been subjected to beatings and torture following a fire in a penitentiary in southern Siberia, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The Zabaikalye human rights center said today that investigators concealed brutality against inmates in the maximum security labor camp No 10 in the town of Krasnokamensk.

The center said it can prove prisoners were "severely beaten and tortured" after the fire, citing a medical examination of one of the victims.

Officials said that during the night of April 16-17, prisoners set fire to several buildings in the camp. Police and penitentiary officials are trying to determine which prisoners were responsible.

The human rights activists say the prisoners may have resorted to arson to protest violations of their rights.

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