How the prosecutors, who did not notice the crimes committed in the penal colony, were promoted

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20 April 2017

Recently, in the Orenburg region the verdict has been delivered in relation to the ex-heads of colony-settlement No.11. They were found guilty according to three articles of the Criminal Code of Russia, including committing sexual battery by a group of persons by previous concert and abuse of office. Lawyer of the Committee for the Prevention of Tortures Albina Mudarisova tells us what happened to the employees of the Prosecutor’s Office who had not been noticing the crimes committed in this correctional facility for several years:

“In the beginning of March of this year I applied to Prosecutor of the Orenburg region Sergey Berezhitsky requesting him to check at least the fact of improper execution of the duties by the ex-Prosecutor responsible for supervision of the compliance to the law in the correctional facilities of the region (Vladimir Zemtsov) and his subordinate Aleksey Bunkovsky. In my request I also asked Mr Berezhitsky to consider the issue of compliance of these Prosecutor’s Office employees to the positions they currently hold, and make a decision on their further service in the Prosecutor’s Office agencies.

For some reason I received a reply from Sergey Pyzhov, the Senior Assistant of the Prosecutor for the Orenburg region, and the reply turned out to be quite vague in its content and inconsistent in its form: «An agency check has been conducted upon your request no facts mentioned in your request proved during this check” (the spelling and the punctuation of the author are preserved).

All in all, this reply made me ask a lot of questions. Now I had more questions than before my request. Which facts that I had referred to were not proven?

Maybe,  the sentence  in relation to ex-head of colony-settlement No. 11 Filyus Khusainov, who was found guilty of forcing Sergey Nikonorov and other convicts to work at his summer cottage by means of threats and by creating unbearable conditions of servicing their sentence?

Or was the sentence in relation to Khusainov and his Deputy Murat Kumarov where they were found guilty according to the three articles of the Criminal Code of Russia including committing sexual battery by a group of persons by previous concert and office abuse cancelled as illegal?

Or, maybe, there was no search at the house of Aleksey Bunkovsky (the employee of the Prosecutor’s Office) when investigators seized a video record demonstrating construction works performed by the convicts at the summer cottage owned by Khusainov?

(Aleksey Bunkovsky, the source of the photo: http://56.фсин.рф)

Or there were no requests from our organization to Vladimir Semtsov (the employee of the Prosecutor’s Office) and his formal run-around replies that “there are no grounds for the Prosecutor’s Office response”?

(Vladimir Zemtsov at the table on the left, the source of the photo: http://orki.ru)

Here is my “in absentio” reply to Sergey Pyzhov, the Senior Assistant of the Prosecutor for the Orenburg region. Firstly, the facts provided by me in the request are documented and proven, and all the copies of the documents were handed over to the Prosecutor’s Office. Secondly, only the Prosecutor of the region is authorized to settle the question put in my request. And that is what I am going to get.

And now to the background of my request to the Prosecutor of the Orenburg region.

We have repeatedly applied to Vladimir Zemtsov who used to be the Head of the Prosecutor’s Office in the field of supervising the compliance to the law in the correctional facilities of the region until 2015. In our requests we reported about the violence that was taking place and other violations of the human rights in Guberlinsksaya colony-settlement No. 11. Thus, in particular, Vladimir Zemtsov was informed about the fact that under the threats of his life and health convict Sergey Nikonorov was building a summer cottage for Filyus Khusainov, the Head of the colony. It is worth mentioning here that the Prosecutor’s Office supervising the compliance to the law in the correctional facilities of the region had a video record showing how convicts were working at Khusainov’s summer cottage. But this video record was ignored by Zemtsov himself and his subordinate Aleksey Bunkovsky for a long time. And only two and a half years later, in May 2015, investigators of the regional investigation department seized this video record from Bunkovsky, and this record was accepted as one of the proofs of Filyus Khusainov’s guilt of abusing office.

Besides, we informed Vladimir Zemtsov about convicts’ attempts to escape as they no longer had moral and physical strength to bear the abuse from the side of the administration of colony-settlement No.11 and using such methods had to attract the attention of the law enforcement units. We also handed over the explanation of convict K. reporting the fact of bullying him.

According to the law of the Russian Federation it is the Prosecutor’s Office that should monitor the compliance with the law in the correctional facilities that has to detect and timely prevent violation of the law in the facilities and units of the correctional system. But Zemtsov and his subordinates responded: “there are no grounds for the Prosecutor’s Office response”.

I learned from the mass media that Zemtsov and Bunkovsky had been promoted to other senior positions in the Prosecutor’s Office for the Orenburg region. Vladimir Zemtsov is now Senior Assistant of the Prosecutor for the Orenburg region and Aleksey Bunkovsky is Deputy Prosecutor of Orsk inter-district Environmental Prosecutor’s Office.

Considering that subjectivity and lack of professionalism demonstrated by Zemtsov and Bunkovsky during their work do not comply with the requirements set by the General Prosecutor’s Office of the RF to its employees I applied to Prosecutor of the region Sergey Berezhnitsky questioning the compliance of the mentioned persons with the positions they hold. Unfortunately, I got an absurd run-around reply from his assistant Sergey Pyzhov. Certainly, I intend to receive a clear reply from the Prosecutor of the region”.