Oleg Kazakov, who previously was kept at Pre-Trial Detention Facility No.2 of the Nizhny Novgorod region, told the Committee Against Torture that last year, the detention center staff undressed and beaten up him and other convicts, demanding to stop complaining over confinement conditions. After that one of the victims cut his veins in protest, and Kazakov attempted a suicide.
After the transfer from the Pre-Trial Detention Facility to the penal colony, Kazakov managed to hand over a letter with the description of the incident that happened on 10 August 2021 to the lawyers with the CAT. According to Oleg, the detention center staff brought him and two his cell-mates to the corridor, where the head of the operational unit insulted them for violating the internal regulation, and then forced them to undress, made them stand facing the wall and spread arms and legs. After that he removed his shoe and was beating up the convicts’ body, face and head. “I am the law here. It will be as I want it to be”, — Kazakov was quoting his boss.
According to Kazakov, after that, the boss in a personal conversation threatened him with even more violence, demanding that he stopped submitting complaints of confinement conditions to various institutions. When Oleg returned to the cell, he was told that while he was talking to the boss, his cell mates were beaten up with rubber truncheons. This stopped when one of the convicts cut his veins in protest.
After the incident, Kazakov could not sleep for two days, and then, on 13 August, attempted a suicide. “I simply could not come to terms with the fact that I’m forty years old be was abused like that. As a result, I cut my veins and abdomen”, — he described. Oleg recalls that after that he was taken to the corridor and was bandaged, but continued to lose consciousness. Instead of calling an ambulance, the detention center staff forced him to state for video record that he cut his veins due to personal reasons and not because of the actions of the detention center administration. The ambulance arrived only in six hours.
The Committee Against Torture started a public investigation based on Kazakov’s application.