Investigative Department of Investigative Committee of Russia for Nizhny Novgorod region has initiated criminal proceedings against Deputy Head of Penal Colony No 14 Aleksey Zaitsev. The case was opened under part 1 article 286 of the Criminal Code of Russia («abuse of office resulted in material violation of rights and lawful interests of citizens…»). Representatives of the Chief Directorate of the Federal Penitentiary Service for Nizhny Novgorod region explained that the case was opened based on the report of senior investigator of the second department for major crimes of Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation. Internal agency check of the Chief Directorate of the Federal Penitentiary Service is being performed in the colony and Aleksey Zaitsev has been removed from office. Neither the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee nor the Federal Penitentiary Service provide any details on what specific violations are in question.
The Public Monitoring Commission of the Nizhny Novgorod region suggested that the criminal case may be related to the full-scale check which has been underway in the Penal Colony No 14 starting from March. «According to our data about 25 people were convoyed from this colony to detention facilities where prosecutor’s office staff and Nizhny Novgorod region Federal Penitentiary Service internal security officers were questioning them, — member of the Public monitoring commission Dmitry Utukin told us. — Some of the convicted applied to INGO «The Committee Against Torture» as well, reporting details of the torture system which had been established in this institution. The convicts especially noted the cruelty of the officers who worked in the premises functioning in the mode of detention facility, assigned for persons whose verdict has not yet taken legal effect. Two persons reported having witnessed a cruel battery of a convict in the territory of the colony who subsequently died of wounds». Now the human rights defenders collect all the data into one application which will be shortly submitted to the investigative bodies. «We hope that this time the state authorities will be persistent enough to take the guilty party to court. Indeed, there have been regular complaints from this colony for the past 7-8 years», — added the human rights defender.