French human rights defenders discover torture in Russia to be general practice, reports the RFI

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15 November 2013

A protest activist being detained in Moscow REUTERS

ACAT – France human rights association (Action des chrétiens pour l’abolition de la torture) has published a report on torture in Russia. This study is a product of two-year-long analytical work carried out by the organization together with Russian human rights defenders. ACAT worked on the report in collaboration with the Public Verdict Foundation based in Moscow and the Committee Against Torture based in Nizhny Novgorod.

The report states that torture in Russia is systematic throughout all the stages of criminal proceedings, from the moment of a suspect is detained by the police and till imprisonment imposed by court.

Christine Laroque, Director of ACAT’s Asia-Russia Programme, told the RFI what the conclusions of the report are based upon.

Christine Laroque: «We met with many torture victims, their families, their lawyers, human rights defenders who specialize in fight against torture, doctors and psychologists. We also managed to meet with penitentiary authorities and other state officials. We went on investigative missions to six Russian regions including Chechnya, and in those regions we visited a number of detention facilities, namely investigative isolators. This report is the product of analysis carried out using information and testimony gathered in the course of our research that lasted for two years and included our investigation of the issue in question and exchanging opinions with all the people we met with. We have come to the conclusion that torture in Russian police and penitentiary institutions is widespread».

On 20 November, Wednesday, French public national television channel  France 2 is to show its report which the journalists called «Russia: At the Heart of the Modern Gulag». The report was prepared by two French journalists who visited Russia together with the ACAT experts.

Read the report «The Multiple Faces of Torture»

The news is based on information by the RFI