Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia refused to apologize either to the convict whom the head of the penal colony used as a slave during the construction activities at his summer cottage, who was beaten up and inflicted to violent actions of sexual nature under the supervision of the head of the colony and his deputy, or to the mother, whose son died after the battery by the Detention Facility officers. Today, human rights defenders received an answer from the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia, where it is stated that the apologies of this kind are “not provided by the legislation”.
After Deputy Head of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia Valery Maksimenko in July of this year offered public apologies to convict Evgeny Makarov who was tortured by officers of the Yaroslavl penal colony, lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Timur Rakhmatullin applied to Mr Maksimenko in written form asking to offer apologies to the persons from the Orenburg region involved in three criminal cases, who suffered from criminal actions of the Federal Penitentiary Service.
The application featured a list of crimes of high-ranking officers of the Orenburg penal colonies and detention facilities, with regard to which the judgments of conviction were passed:
– using the convicts in their own private needs during construction of summer cottage, threats, including with the use of weapons,
– battery and sexual violence against a convict under supervision of the penal colony officers,
– battery of the convict by detention facility officers, after which he died.
Today, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture received a response from the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia to this application, which stated the following: “The legislation of the Russian Federation does not provide offering apologies to the victim by superior officials when their subordinates commit crimes of officials”.
“In his apology to the victim beaten up in the Yaroslavl penal colony, Valery Maskimenko pointed out that the stance of the Director of the Federal Penitentiary Service, just like the stance of the whole management, is that our service must be open, we are not going to shift the blame to protect esprit de corps”, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Timur Rakhmatulin emphasizes. – We expected that after such statements Mr Maksimenko would think it right and necessary to offer apologies to the other victims, too. Unfortunately, this did not happen. Instead of an adequate response, which he recently saw from the Deputy Head of the Federal Penitentiary Service, now we received a formal reply from the legal department that “apologies are not provided by the legislation”.
According to lawyer Rakhmatulin, human rights defenders will repeatedly submit this application with regard to offering apologies, this time – addressed to Director of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia, Gennadiy Kornienko, they would also put forward a suggestion that the head of this organization issued a decree by which he would oblige the Service superiors to officer apologies to the victims of illegal actions of their subordinates.