"Offering apologies is not provided by the applicable legislation"

Событие | Пресс центр

25 May 2017

Head of the Department of the Federal Service for Execution of Punishment of Russia for the Orenburg region Vladimir Andreyev refused to offer apologies to Sergey Nikonorov, who suffered from criminal actions of former head of Penal Colony-Settlement No.11 Philyus Khusainov. Justifying his refusal, Major General Andreyev reported that it is not provided by the applicable legislation. Lawyer of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Albina Mudarisova thinks that apologies of Mr Andreyev could have been an act of good will and a demonstration of the fact that the superiors of the regional Department of the Federal Service for Execution of Punishment of Russia not only feel personal responsibility for what is happening in the organization, but is intended to fight all the negative developments.   

Albina Mudarisova: “Indeed, neither federal laws, nor intradepartmental acts of the Federal Service for Execution of Punishment of Russia do not provide for obligation to offer apologies to a person who suffered from the crimes of the correctional system officers.

However, there are two “buts”. Firstly, apart from orders and statute stuff there are simple norms of human ethics, principles of responsibility and professionalism. Secondly, if we talk about people who are doing everything by the book, there is order of the Department of the Federal Service for Execution of Punishment of Russia for the Orenburg region No. 182, which specifically states that head of the Department of the Federal Service for Execution of Punishment bears personal responsibility for implementation of the state policy ion the established sphere of activity.  

Being absolutely sure that the state policy has nothing to do with tortures and humiliations which were in practice at the territory of Colony-Settlement No.11, we addressed to Head of the Regional  Federal Service for Execution of Punishment of Russia Vladimir Andreyev, suggesting him to offer apologies to Sergey Nikonorov who suffered from criminal actions of former head of this establishment Philyus Khusainov.  

We received refusal. In fact, General Major Andreyev distanced from this Colony-Settlement, purporting that they are superiors themselves and the decisions that they are now taking responsibility for, they made on their own: “we report to You that Penal Colony-Settlement No 11 of the Federal Service for Execution of Punishment of Russia for the Orenburg region is an independent legal body. Head of any establishment has a right to take independent decisions and bears all the responsibility for the taken decisions”.  
In general, “I’m not to blame, for I wasn’t game”…

This distanced stance of the Head of the Department appears rather strange, taking into account positive characteristics, which he and his Deputy Vitaly Litt gave to former head of the same colony No.11 Philyus Khusainov in the course of the examination of a criminal case against him. As we have previously reported, Khusainov is charged under three articles of the Criminal Code of Russia, including committing violent actions of sexual nature by a group of people by previous concert. The judgement of conviction was passed in this case.

Here are some quotes from characteristics of Mr Khusainov: “with good faith was performing his professional duties”; Mr Khusainov “performed work on enforcement of law and order in the establishment… in the sphere of crime prevention”; “operational situation in the establishment remained under control and manageable”.

Such evaluation of Mr Khusainov’s activity by the superiors of the regional Department is by all means strange and leads to two alternative conclusions: either Mr Andreyev was not aware about what was happening in the penal colony, or this situation is normal for him.   

At the same time, the Novotroitsky City Court of the Orenburg region established that this abuse of official power is by all means far from norm, and indicated in the verdict that the crime, committed by Khusainov, led to “led to erosion of authority with regard to Penal Colony No.11, as well as to the whole system of the Federal Penitentiary Service of the Russian Federation”. In addition, this crime “formed the opinion of the population about the overindulgence and impunity of the Federal Penitentiary Service of the Russian Federation officers and led to lack of confidence of the citizens to the state as a whole”.    

We are sure that consciousness and recognition of the problem is always the first step to its resolution. We sincerely expected that this would be the step for the superiors of the regional Department of the Federal Penitentiary Service to take and that they would offer apologies to Sergey Nikonorov. We are convinced that it would allow restoring the authority of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia for the Orenburg region, which is currently undermined after a number of crimes committed by the officers of Penal Colony No.11.  

But it appears that Mr Andreyev is of a different opinion, and his actions, apparently, are limited with applicable instructions and orders where there is nothing about offering apologies…”