Public Monitoring Commissions for Nizhny Novgorod region and the Republic of Chechnya have jointly visited a penal colony


21 March 2011

 Member of the Public Monitoring Commission for the Republic of Chechnya Magomed Alamov has arrived in

Nizhny Novgorod to visit penal colony no.11 in Bor where former law enforcers are serving their sentence.

   On March 17, 2011 members of PMCs for NN region and Chechnya conducted a joint inspection in penal colony no.11 situated in the town of Bor. The visit was triggered by numerous complaints coming to the Nizhny Novgorod Regional PMC from residents of Chechnya and Ingushetia claiming that the rights of their relatives serving their sentence in that colony were violated on a regular basis.  The complaints contained allegations of ill-treatment, as well as discrimination on religious and ethnic grounds.   

During the visit Chechen human rights defender Magomed Alamov had a chance to meet and talk to any prisoner. In the course of inspection Magomed Alamov and members of the NN Regional PMC Oleg Khabibrakhmanov and Dmitry Kazakov visited several colony detached units, cell-type rooms, an isolation cell, an increased security unit, library, club, orthodox church and Muslim prayer room. They talked to 12 inmates of Chechen and Ingush ethnicity and listened to their complaints and wishes.

“Certainly, penal colony no.11, just like the majority of such facilities in Russia, does not meet European standards”, says Magomed Alamav. “There are such violations as overcrowding, poor detention conditions and dramatic need for repair works, insufficient jobs for prisoners, etc. But it is worth mentioning that the prison authority is doing its best to improve the detention conditions using available resources. The most important result of the visit is that we have not found proofs of discrimination on ethnic and religious grounds alleged by prisoners’ relatives living in Chechnya and Ingushetia. None of the prisoners has confirmed this, even when we were talking in our native language. Besides, the fact that there is a church and a Muslim prayer room also points to non-discrimination. Muslims, including those located in an increased security unit, have everything they need for worshipping. Having studied the disciplinary practice of the prison, I cannot say that my countrymen are discriminated against in terms of punishment. There are people of various nationalities contained in the increased security unit, not only Chechen and Ingush, as it has been alleged in some complaints. Likewise, Chechens who do not violate internal rules live in regular security units alongside other prisoners.”

Upon his arrival in the Chechen Republic Mr. Alamov will organize a meeting for prisoners’ relatives and tell them about his personal impressions of the Bor colony.

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