The convicts of Penal Colony No.14 from the Nizhny Novgorod region have given testimony against the colony's former head Vasily Voloshin

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13 October 2015

(Vasily Voloshin)

The convicts, serving sentence in Penal Colony No.14 (Sukhobezvodnoye settlement), told the members of the Public Monitoring Commission for monitoring the human rights observance in penal institutions of the Nihzny Novgorod region (PMC) about the illegal actions of former head of this penal institution Vasily Voloshin. The convicts testimonies have been handed over to the Investigative Committee.

In the course of conversation with human rights defenders two convicts told about the facts of money extortion from other convicts by former head of Penal Colony No.14 Vasily Voloshin, about the cases of forging the medical documentation aiming at covering up murders and infliction of grave bodily harm and other unlawful activities. 

«My duties involved performing fully what the colony head desires. For example, it was necessary to perform some operations, since the colony officers did absolutely nothing. Many times I received full confessions from other convicts on official letterheads. Which full confessions shall be collected and from which convicts was for the colony head Voloshin to decide. I also was told whom to collect the money from. I approached this man on the territory of the colony unit, asked him how much money he can transfer. A week or two prior to court proceedings (early release on parole – editor’s note) I used to come to Voloshin’s office and tell him «this and that paid sixty thousand». The ones who paid to the full sum were gone, the ones who don’t pay fully – did not go. The money was transferred by the convicts relatives to the phone numbers of the current officials of the administration», – said the former duty attendant of one of the colony units. 

The convict who worked in the medical unit of the institution, said the following: «In 2010 Voloshin, who was the head of the operating unit, appointed me a hospital attendant to the medical sanitary station. In autumn of 2014 convict Djavoyan was brought from unit 12 to the medical sanitary station, he was in bad state. In less than five munities Voloshin called and asked: «How’s Djavoyan doing?» I said that he was bad: he did not respond, his blood pressure was zero. In ten minutes Voloshin came over to the medical unit, accompanied by the convict, who was in charge of discipline and order in the colony, and demanded to strip down Djavoyan. We did that, and we saw that he was all blue, his buttocks even black.  Voloshin called the doctor he knew and explained the situation, asking for advice as to what can be done. In a while an ambulance came over, as well as our medics. When they were preparing for injections and measured his pressure Djavoyan passed out, his blood pressure was non-existent. The ambulance doctor said: «Well, that’s it, he’s dead, nothing can be done. Approximate diagnosis: pulmonary oedema». After that we were told to testify that we brought Djavoyan from the colony unit and he allegedly fell from the stairs there».

This convict also said that he repeatedly had to forge the convicts’ circumstances of acquiring the injuries, including using false medical documentation. He was forced to do so by the convicts who had the regulatory and executive authority from the colony administration, as well as by high-ranking officials of the colony.

Member of PMC of the Nizhny Novgorod region Dmitry Utukin: «We sent this and many other testimonies on what was happening in the colony, to the Investigative Committee, however, we still don’t see any actions aimed at investigation of these actions. Most our signals go unanswered, as if they went to the outer space. We see that the regional department of the Federal Service for Execution of Punishment is trying to improve the situation, the Prosecutor’s Office reacted, too. At the same time it’s the investigators that should send the society a clear signal that the situation is under control, criminal proceedings are initiated, the investigation is ongoing».