Human rights defenders applied to the Ministry of the Interior of Ukraine for assistance in searching for the fugitive former head of the penal colony

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09 February 2017

Human rights defenders with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture have applied today to the Minister of the Interior of Ukraine Arsen Avakov with a request of assistance in searching for former head of penal colony No 14 (Sukhovobezvodnoye settlement, Nizhny Novgorod region) Vasiliy Voloshin, who may be in hiding on the territory of Ukraine. Voloshin is put on the federal and international wanted list on a charge of committing a series of crimes against property, however, human rights defenders have the most reason to think that he is involved in tortures, abuse and murders of the convicts in the penal colony which he previously headed.

As we have previously reported, in June 2015 after the check which revealed the “facts of official activities violations”, head of penal colony No 14 Vasily Voloshin was dismissed from service. On 16 July 2015 a criminal case was initiated against him. 

After the dismissal of the head of the colony the members of the Public Monitoring Group received 130 applications, including on batteries and  blackmail by the convicts who cooperate with the administration.
 
It should be pointed out that eight criminal cases were opened by the Investigative Department for the Nizhny Novgorod region based on the facts of deaths of convicts in the Federal Correctional Institution Penal Colony No 14 of the State Department of the Federal Penitentiary Service in the period from 2011 to 2015.

On 19 October 2015 Vasiliy Voloshin was put on the federal and international wanted list on a charge of committing a series of crimes against property.

On 26 August 2016 the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, having decided to assist the investigation, announced a reward in the sum of three thousand roubles for information which would result in the arrest of former head of Penal Colony No 14 Vasiliy Voloshin. 

– In the course of the public investigation we received information that Vasiliy Voloshin may be in hiding on the territory of Ukraine, since he is Ukrainian-born and his relatives still live there, that is why we applied to the Minister of the Interior of Ukraine as a country-representative of international treaties against torture and inhuman treatment with a request for help, – lawyer of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Sergey Shounin comments.

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