Russian prison officer detained after inmate death

2018-07-25 06:14
Handcuffs. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Handcuffs. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Russian investigators on Tuesday said they had detained a prison officer for allegedly suffocating an inmate with a cloth.

The Investigative Committee's branch in the western Bryansk region said they had detained an assistant duty officer for tying a cloth around a prisoner's face "as a result of which he died of asphyxiation".

The officer faces up to 10 years in jail if found guilty.

The case comes a day after Russia detained six prison guards shown torturing an inmate in a shocking video leaked to a liberal newspaper.

The video was shot by one of the guards in a prison in the Volga city of Yaroslavl on a portable video recorder.

It shows the faces of prison officers as they methodically beat a prisoner lying face down on a table.

It was published by Novaya Gazeta newspaper on Friday after being passed to it by a rights group, prompting an uproar.

The tortured prisoner's lawyer said on Monday she had fled Russia after learning of personal threats against her from prison guards.

Prisoners rights activist Olga Romanova wrote on Facebook that the new case would never have come to light had it not been for the high-level reaction to the Yaroslavl torture case.

The probe into the 2017 torture incident is now being handled by the Investigative Committee's central office in Moscow.

It said it blamed one of its regional investigators in Yaroslavl for previously "unlawfully" refusing to launch a criminal probe. The investigator has been sacked, it added.

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