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“Strapped down, had genitals shoved in their faces”. How a prison hospital in Krasnoyarsk became a torture dungeon

Evgenia Tamarchenko

The Krasnoyarsk Regional TB Hospital is the largest medical facility for prisoners in the region. Most patients arrive there for treatment. However, the hospital has isolated areas where inmates who are viewed as troublemakers by the chiefs of the Krasnoyarsk Krai Directorate of the Federal Penitentiary Service are beaten, tortured and broken through the use of punitive psychiatry. The Insider tracked down people who had experienced or witnessed violence at KTB-1 and found out how neuroleptics were used to turn healthy people into “vegetables”, how physical and sexual violence had been encouraged by senior correctional officers and why it is easier to kill a person with impunity in a prison hospital than anywhere else.

ALL CARDS
  • Alexander: “A healthy person is turned into an invalid”

  • Vladimir: “If you disobeyed, they would not only inject you but also rape you”

  • Grigory Garkusha: “It's one long chain of command, from the lowest doctor to the highest general”

  • Eugene: “They said they would beat and rape me”

  • Vyacheslav Kononenko: “Everything's done under the direction of chief physician Pidorenko”

  • Dr. Mengele from Krasnoyarsk

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The illustrations created with Midjourney

For the purpose of breaking inmates or recruiting them as agents, they are brought to KTB-1 from various correctional facilities in the Krasnoyarsk Krai, and sometimes from other regions. Three main methods of coercion are utilized. First, direct violence, including that of sexual character, which is used in transport cells (the name given to cells designated for inmates awaiting prison transport). Second, punitive psychiatry, with a dedicated hospital area (psychoneurological ward, or PNW) used for that purpose. Third, convicts called “minders” and “vagabonds”, invoking “creed” and the “thief's code”, carry out orders of the prison administration and the Krasnoyarsk Krai Directorate of the Federal Penitentiary Service at KTB-1.

Many of those who end up in KTB-1 for treatment may not even be aware that inmates are being beaten and raped and healthy people are being injected with the strongest psychotropic drugs in a ward right next to them.

KTB-1 often becomes one of the circles of hell for those sent to the EPKT-31 (Special Housing Unit) torture facility, on which The Insider reported last year. Prisoners mutilate themselves by slashing their wrists or driving nails or similar sharp objects into their bodies to avoid being tortured at EPKT-31. But as a result they are taken to KTB-1 and subjected to a different kind of torture there.

Alexander: “A healthy person is turned into an invalid”

Brought to KTB-1 three times: the first time in 2017 and then two times in 2019. The first two times he had surgery in the hospital because he had driven pins into his body to avoid torture. The third time, in September 2019, he was brought in to be punished: he was beaten, strapped to a bunk and injected with neuroleptics. Name changed.

There is a psychoneurological ward in the KTB, where they send those whom the GUFSIN <Main Directorate of the Federal Penitentiary Service in the Krasnoyarsk Krai - The Insider> perceives as troublemakers. There was a crook there, Lyonya, nicknamed Malets, a “vagabond,” who controlled everything, and the rest was done by the “activists” <inmates who help the administration - The Insider>. People were brought there to be tortured.

I went up to the ward. In a place where there were no cameras, I was attacked by “activists”, this is their practice. They tied me to a bed, the doctor, who works for the GUFSIN, came and gave me an injection. I spent the whole night with my joints twisting, I felt foggy, I even wanted to die. They shot me with drugs for 24 hours, then they untied me from the bed. All in all, I stayed there for 14 days.

In the KTB, there's a whole gang of “pressers” <inmates who are instructed by the administration to physically abuse other inmates – The Insider> operating in the ward. Doctors or operatives would tell them who to beat up, and they would do it.

There were always some people strapped to their bunks so tightly that their hands turned blue. They were injected with Haloperidol, Azaleptin, Aminazin. As a result, a person gets all twisted up, he lies on the bed and screams. They come at him and beat him up, they shove their genitals in his face.

A man gets all twisted up, he lies on the bed and screams

The PNW is a madhouse inside the hospital. You can go crazy there. The worst and craziest people are in the PNW. The most unscrupulous “pressers” and the most ardent “whores” <in the prison vocabulary - those who go against the thieves' code - The Insider>. They strap you down and say, “We're going to turn you into a vegetable.” And they start injecting you. A person may lie strapped to the bunk for ten days crying, the poor thing. When he is untied, he drools like a zombie. If you give him enough injections, he won't be putting up any resistance for the rest of his life. The brain malfunctions, and people turn into amorphous zombies, who can only eat, drink, sleep, and go to the toilet. Such an inmate will not be able to do anything. A healthy person is turned into an invalid. If you have no family to help you, it will take a week to turn you into a zombie for the rest of your life.

They strap you down and say: “We're going to turn you into a vegetable.” And then they start injecting you

Every penitentiary facility in the Krasnoyarsk Krai threatens inmates with being sent to the PNW. I was released a year ago from Correctional Facility 7, where they took inmates to the PNW and then showed videos of them washing urinals there <such demonstration of the humiliating procedure was probably needed to show that those inmates had joined the prison caste of the “shamed” - The Insider>. Such inmates either never return, or they come back as “vegetables”.

There was also a transport cell in KTB-1, where the “pressers” were held. There were also “quiet” wards, where thugs would strap you down and beat you up and then videotape you. What they practiced at the KTB was that if a person forgot to remove his tea or coffee cup from the night table, they would take him to the transport cell, where the thugs would beat him up and make him apologize on video. Those videos were then played in all the hospital rooms. The psychoneurological ward had no connection to the outside world, but the other wards had TV sets, and everyone there had to watch. The “goats” <prisoners who cooperate with the administration - The Insider> stood nearby and made sure that the masses watched, and those who refused to watch were immediately taken to the transport cell and got beaten there.

Vladimir: “If you disobeyed, they would not only inject you but also rape you”

Was brought to KTB-1 several times between 2014 to 2020. According to him, torture, humiliation and pressure at the KTB has not ceased to this day. In 2020, he was strapped to his bunk and injected with psychotropic drugs. He was threatened with rape. Name changed.

While in the KTB, I observed how the system employed by the Krasnoyarsk Krai Directorate of the Federal Penitentiary Service was organized, how the officers, informants and “pressers” worked. In the PNW, I saw a lot of inmates who were strapped down and injected with psychotropic drugs for breaking the rules or refusing to comply with the requirements of the administration. There is a transport cell in KBT-1, where convicts are brought for punishment. There are torture cells where the convicts, who work with the administration, force testimony out of other inmates, videotape them, force them to apologize, intimidate them with their penises and rape them, beat them up, tie them up. All of that is being done there all the time.

A correctional officer would visit the ward and talk to you. If you do not agree with him or if you break any rule, for example if you sit on the bed, they will take you out of the ward and do things to you. They work together with the hospital staff, and they threaten you: “You better cooperate with the administration, or else you will be raped “. This is how the Directorate works: there are crooks (as they call themselves) in Correctional Facility 17, in the SHU, and in KBT-1. They tell you if you did something wrong, they beat you up, they write reports saying you are so-and-so and you don't belong “among the people”. Perhaps the crooks hold certain positions there, but no one knows for sure. When operatives from the Organized Crime Department of the Directorate [of the Federal Penitentiary Service for the Krasnoyarsk Krai], who supervise the hospital, come to visit, they always meet with the crooks. They tell them what to do, whom to threaten, whom to get rid of. First, [Aleksandr Yurievich] Slepov was such an operative, then Suleimanov, Burnasenko. The crooks spend years in the KTB - some five or six years. And sometimes they leave and come back a week later. They are not sick, they are not treated there, they just “maintain order and regime.” And sick inmates are being taught not to lie on their bunks and do what the administration tells them.

Lyonia Malets, Kostya Bashka, they are crooks, they all work together. There are many wards there, there are “minders” who control the masses to prevent them from rioting, to make them comply with all the requirements of the administration and the regime that should not even exist. Whenever a person who has been brought to the [Krasnoyarsk] Directorate – either to Detention Center 1 or the transit prison, where there are also torture cells – refuses to cooperate with them, he gets sent to the hospital in 95% of cases. Almost every inmate who comes from another region and who is perceived as a troublemaker gets sent to that hospital for punishment. At first, a correctional officer tries to talk sense into him, and if he fails, he then may resort to different methods of coercion.

First, an officer tries to talk sense into him, and if he fails, he may resort to different methods of coercion

If a person with criminal authority comes from another region, an officer summons him and says: “You should behave in this way or that.” He tries to convince him, saying, “You better serve your sentence quietly or cooperate with us, and you'll be fine, you'll be a “vagabond”, you'll be able to solve problems, you'll rest in the hospital.” If he refuses, they start pressuring him at the KTB with the help of the local crooks - they beat him up or do other things to him.

The medical staff sees this and knows everything, but everyone is silent. No one says anything about it, it still goes on like this, at least it did in 2020. Back then they strapped me to a bunk in the PNW. They tie you up, handcuff you to the bunk, have a convict watch you. He tries to scare you, waving his penis at you. You are told that if you disobey, you will not only be injected with drugs but also raped. How does it happen? They pull out their penises and scare you, they start coming at you, rip your pants open and pull them down. One of them says: “I'm going to rape you now”. After that the victim agrees to their terms in order not to be raped.

The PNW is a separate psychoneurological ward, it has many rooms, and in each of those rooms there are people strapped to their bunks, injected and left helpless. Once a man was brought there, who had cut himself, slashed his wrists in Pretrial Detention Center No. 1. In the KTB they strapped him down and injected him, then the crooks wanted to talk to him to understand why he had cut himself, and then they issued a message saying he should “not be among the people,” that he was a wretch and did not belong, that he should be treated as a “furry,” <a category of inmates who are not entitled to have opinions or to vote - The Insider>.

The Directorate [of Federal Penitentiary Service in the Krasnoyarsk Krai] and the local administration – Svetlovsky, deputy head of the hospital for security and operational activity; Smirnov, head of operational department – all those who have been there all along, they also supervise the work: every week they summon those crooks and hear their reports on what happened and who said what. The crooks do their operational work for them, they and the “activists” are their eyes and ears. If a person is viewed as a troublemaker and is hard to handle, they quickly get rid of him or create problems for him and take him away, they do not give him time to get well. They make all kinds of videos in which they force inmates to apologize to the administration and promise they will comply with the regime. All this is done under physical or psychological pressure, under threats of rape. Then those videos are shown every evening on CCTV in order to intimidate the other inmates. People are ordered out of their rooms to sit on a stool or to stand and watch those videos, even if they just underwent surgery.

Grigory Garkusha: “It's one long chain of command, from the lowest doctor to the highest general”

Was brought to KTB-1 in February 2019. He was being taken to the Detention Center 1 torture facility, and he mutilated himself on the way there. According to him, publicity saved him from reprisals in the KTB. Grigory's wife wrote complaints, and he himself handed over a suicide note to the prisoners' rights advocates, in which he said that the chiefs of the penal colony where he was serving his prison term were to blame in case of his death.

KTB-1 is a separate facility, it's the toughest. If an inmate breaks the rules, he can be immediately taken to the transport cell, where the “directors” <prisoners who openly cooperate with the administration, whose task is to force other prisoners to comply with the regime and other requirements of the administration, and to extract information of operational significance – The Insider> beat people and may even use [sexualized] violence. An operative comes in and says, 'We'll get you in there, and the pressers will rape you just like that.” The doctors at the KTB have “greenlight” <carte blanche from the Federal Penitentiary Service tacitly given to the doctors at the KTB, that allows them to specify heart attacks, etc. rather than torture as the cause of death - The Insider>. Any death can be easily written off in a hospital, but if there is a lethal outcome in a pretrial detention center, it is much harder to do it. So, they take you to the KTB, and if something happens to you, they will report on paper that you died of heart failure or that you had some kind of surgery, which you did not survive.

An operative walks in and says, “We'll get you in there, and the pressers will rape you just like that”

When they brought me in with the pins I had driven into my body, they suggested an operation. I refused food, refused to go up to the ward and refused the operation too, and without my written consent they could not perform it. I withheld my consent until I was sure of my safety. I know of cases where people were put into surgery and died. I thought I was going to be killed, maybe with a surgeon's knife, so I did not give my consent.

An operative came in, didn't introduce himself, and said: “What are you trying to do? Do you want us to arrange a meeting with the crooks for you?” I said, “I'm trying to keep myself safe. I want you to get off my back. I don't want to cooperate with the administration. I just want to do my time, that's all.” He says, “All right, fine, but will you let the doctors operate on you?” And I said, “Who's the head of the facility? If there's an assurance from them that nothing will happen to me, then yes. I need assurances that they won't kill me.” He said: “All right, I'll talk to the higher-ups. We've heard your demand, we understand that you don't want to cooperate, just give us your consent to the operation.” And I answered: “And what are the guarantees? I can't trust you.” In the end they brought in some “vagabond” from the TBW <tuberculosis ward - The Insider>, Tiberius of Makhachkala was his name, I think, and he told me: “I vouch for them, I give you my word that nothing will happen to you. Go up to the ward, I am in charge there, you will simply have an operation, nothing else. I talked to the cops, and they told me to talk to you.” That's when I consented to the surgery. I was developing pneumothorax, my health was deteriorating, and I hadn't eaten anything yet, so they didn't know what to do.

I found out later why they were afraid to kill me - because my wife had been filing complaints. I was on the Gulagu.net register, and she talked to human rights activists – Anton Drozdov and Vladimir Osechkin. They monitored my stay in the Krasnoyarsk Krai, and that made the operatives act with caution, I guess. Plus, when I was leaving the colony, I sent a suicide letter through the prisoners' rights activists, in which I wrote that if anything happened to me, my death should be blamed on Belyakov <Anton Viktorovich, then chief of the operational department of IK-15 - The Insider>, Lapshin <Dmitry Sergeevich, chief of IK-15 - The Insider> and so on. And because I took those steps, most of what usually happens at the KTB did not happen to me. If I had done it differently, I would have ended up in the PNW and would have returned as a “vegetable”. I've met a lot of people who went through the PNW. I've seen people who were injected with psychotropic drugs, and it's scary, I don't want to be like that. They won't let you die on purpose, but you won't be the same person you used to be either. When you see those who went through it, you understand it's not a joke.

The only reason I wasn't killed was that my wife complained to human rights activists

There was a kid sitting with me in the ward <at the KTB - The Insider>, Vasily was his name. At eight o'clock in the evening we were supposed to watch local news, which the hospital staff came up with and produced themselves. Vasily didn't attend the viewing. He had a fever, so he simply headed to his room to lie down. A passing inspector saw him. Vasiliy told him he had a fever. The inspector picked him up, took him to the transport cell, the pressers worked on him there, and he came back with an apology. The next day they showed a video clip of him apologizing and explaining what had happened on CCTV. It was humiliating. And it happened in a hospital where people are supposed to receive medical treatment. That's the kind of treatment sick people get there.

If you start to fight back in any way, if you are not afraid or if you dare to stand up to the “pressers”, the administration has its own minders, like Tiberius of Makhachkala, Stas Ilansky and others. First you get an audience with the administration, and they may put you in a cell with those minders or take you to “fluorography”. When I went there, I saw Tiberius, Stas and Dotsent, and they said to me: “Why are you such a revolutionary? Couldn't you find a common ground?” They wrote a message to prevent my contact with general population, so that members of general population would not learn anything from me and the administration would still have leverage over them.

A friend of mine cut his wrists, and when they locked him up in the PNW, he refused to eat there. There's a cell where they would strap you down and inject you with Madame Depo <a prolonged-action neuroleptic - The Insider>, and all your joints get twisted, and everything hurts for 24 hours. They bring a “shamed” inmate to your room, and he spoon-feeds you. As he feeds you, the door is open, and someone from your colony, who knows you, may be passing by. He may even be brought to your room on purpose and told, “Here, look. You need to tell everybody that Vasya was being fed by a “shamed” inmate. Did you see that? We are telling the truth. You're a decent prisoner, aren't you?” - “Yes, I am.” - “You need to tell everybody. If you don't, you will take his place and we'll have a “shamed” inmate spoon-feed you. Is that what you want?” - “No, it isn't.” And that's it, the decent prisoner goes back to the colony, tells everyone how he saw Vasya being spoon-fed by a “shamed” inmate, so Vasya won't be able to stay with decent inmates anymore. There are all sorts of tricks and methods of coercion, and you need to be a very strong and tough person not to break down.

They torture and torment you in the SHU, but even if they kill you, they'll make it look like a suicide. One way or another, they try to take you to the KTB, so that the doctors could write a certificate saying you died from a disease. It's easier to hide you at the KTB. They'll get you in the transport cell – this way you're not registered in any hospital ward, you're supposedly being transported between facilities, but you can spend a month, or two, or three in that cell. According to the law, after 21 days you have to be released from that cell, so they take you up to the ward for one day via the emergency room, and then they return you to the transport cell. And there are doctors there who are supposed to be helping you, but they look at you like you're expendable.

There are doctors there who are supposed to be helping you, but they look at you like you're expendable

Yes, we were convicted, we committed crimes - some of us murdered, some of us robbed, but we have been punished for our deeds. But when they commit similar crimes against you, pretending it's legal and saying it's being done for the sake of correction, you can't possibly understand why the executive branch goes against the law by violating the rules and the principles of humanity. Those who are supposed to enforce the law violate it by bullying, torturing, humiliating and killing people, and still get paid for it. And they just laugh it off. That's probably what the Nazis did. It's scary and depressing.

Moscow is pulling the strings. FSB is behind all of this. It's a conveyor belt where they manufacture their agents, people they own. A real gulag. Everything is being done to break inmates before they are released. No one there talks about re-education. It's all bullshit. The system was built to destroy, to break people.

It's a program designed to keep the masses in check. A prison camp is a small copy of a city and maybe of the country as a whole. Back then, nothing was done without the knowledge of [Nikolai Leonidovich] Vasiliev, chief of the Krasnoyarsk Krai GUFSIN <who was appointed chief of the Main Operational Directorate (GOU) of the Federal Penitentiary Service in 2022 - The Insider>. It's one long chain of command, from the lowest doctor to the highest general. Everyone knows everything and still turns a blind eye. Even the orderlies know everything that is going on, otherwise they wouldn't be able to work there. I believe it's a government program to control the masses.

Eugene: “They said they would beat and rape me”

Was brought to KTB-1 in December 2017. Before that, Yevgeny had already been in the hospital, and when he returned to the colony, he wrote several complaints about a doctor at KTB-1. He wrote that the hospital did not provide him with medical care, hospital rooms were too crowded, there was no ventilation, etc. When he was sent to the KTB the second time, he was sure he was being taken there for treatment. However, it turned out that they decided to pressure him into apologizing on camera for daring to write complaints. Name changed.

In the KTB I was in infectious diseases ward #2. As soon as I got there, the “steward” came to my room. A “steward” is an administration worker, also a convict, who provides special services to the administration. He told me I was about to be transferred to a transport cell and there I would have to apologize on camera. I asked what I had to apologize for. I was told I had to apologize for writing complaints, and they would videotape me admitting I had written them illegally. I was also supposed to warn the other convicts not to write such complaints. I said I wouldn't do that. To this the “steward” replied that if I didn't, I would get in trouble. Still I refused, “I don't care, let them do whatever they want, but I will not apologize.” After that, the “steward” left.

The next day, the overseer in charge of the infectious diseases ward came to me and said: “We need to solve the problem. If you don't apologize now, all the inmates here will start having problems.” He threatened banning all the inmates at the KTB from receiving visitors, making phone calls and shopping, all because of my refusal to apologize. I replied: “It's not my problem, I'm not going to do anything, go and solve the problem yourself.” After that, the overseer left. An hour later the “steward” came and said that if I didn't apologize on camera right now and solve the problem with the administration, they would take me to a torture cell and beat me up. I said I was not going to apologize.

The next day, the KTB-1 administration sent the “steward” to my room. Once more I said I would not apologize. On the third day the administration removed all the equipment – radios, boilers, kettles, and TV sets – from the hospital's two infectious disease wings. All the inmates who were in the hospital were told it was done because I refused to apologize on camera. They warned the inmates they would ban them from making phone calls, shopping or receiving visitors. And they did.

On the third day the administration removed all the equipment – radios, boilers, kettles, and TV sets – from the hospital's two infectious disease wings

When I saw that illegal actions were being committed against me and the others, I wrote an application and went to see the warden. When I entered the office, I saw the acting warden of KGB-1, Smirnov, who was then chief of the operational section of KTB-1. I don't remember Smirnov's initials. Hardly had I entered the room when he started shouting at me and intimidating me. He promised me that if I did not apologize on camera, I would be transferred to the transport cell, where I would be beaten and raped. I said I would not apologize. Smirnov hurled insults at me, but I did not yield to his provocations. Before sending me away, he said I had 24 hours to think.

In the morning I was picked up for transport and taken away, despite the fact that to this day I'm sick with an infectious disease. Before leaving I was approached by Tatiana, a well-known doctor from the infectious disease ward, a chubby girl. She said: “I can't let you stay here to be treated. I understand you have a disease. You should write an application sometime during next transport, they''ll send you to KTB-1, and I will treat you then.” This time, she said, there had been an operational order out in respect of me, and I had been brought to the hospital for operational work to be done on me. After that she said goodbye, and I left for transport to IK-16.

As a result, I spent five days in KTB-1, and no one treated me, despite the fact that I arrived due to illness. This information is recorded both in my medical card and in the documents that are available at KTB-1. After that, I never went there for treatment, I feared for my life.

I never went there again for treatment because I feared for my life

A month after that, they took my friend S. there; he was also serving his sentence in Correctional Facility No. 16. They put psychological pressure on him there, beat him up, did things to him. Although he went there for medical treatment. They also brought there for punishment T.U. and Z.M., convicts from IK-16, and many others. I personally know all of them.

All this is done in order to break a person, to destroy his “self”. Then it is easier to make a convicted person sign papers on cooperation with the administration or renouncement of the thieves' code.

Vyacheslav Kononenko: “Everything's done under the direction of chief physician Pidorenko”

A former inmate who stayed in KTB-1 several times.

Convicts are brought to KTB-1's psychoneurological ward on orders of the Krasnoyarsk Krai GUFSIN. There, doctors inject convicts with psychotropic drugs, turning them into “vegetables”. I cannot say why the medical staff carry out the GUFSIN's orders, yet they and the GUFSIN share a tight working relationship. All the members of the ward's staff are aware of what is going on, because it is impossible not to see it. When there's an inmate strapped to his bunk, it is quite obvious during the rounds. Everyone sees it, and no one has any questions about it.

The chief physician [Evgeny] Pidorenko is not directly involved, but everything happens under his direction. He does not inject patients himself, there are nurses for that. But who gives them instructions? The psychiatrist? The chief physician? The operative? Some of the instructions may be given by the operatives.

Dr. Mengele from Krasnoyarsk

Evgeny Pidorenko, head of the PNW, signed clinical reports suggesting that mentally healthy people be prescribed the strongest psychotropic drugs, Novaya Gazeta reported in 2017 in the piece describing how Zelimkhan Medov, convicted in the invasion of Ingushetia case, had been tortured at KTB-1:

“Ongoing treatment: Aminazin up to 250 mg, Haloperidol decanoate 100 mg, Haloperidol up to 10 mg, Triphthazine 10 mg, Neuleptil up to 20 mg, anti-tuberculosis therapy”, read the extract from the clinical report. Lyubov Vinogradova, executive director of the Independent Psychiatric Association of Russia, at the request of journalists from Novaya Gazeta examined Medov's letters and treatment records he made, and confirmed that “no pronounced psychiatric disorders were registered on admission.” Aminazin is used in cases of severe psychomotor agitation, in his case it could have been used only once and in much smaller dosages. Haloperidol decanoate is one of the strongest drugs prescribed for auditory hallucinations, and he had none. He had been ordered to take a long course of Neuleptil as a behavioral adjuster but was discharged with the recommendation to take Aminazin before sleep and to inject Haloperidol twice a month. He may well reject all this treatment. Outpatient care should only be provided on the basis of an informed voluntary consent.

At KTB-1, Medov was subjected to the same methods of treatment as the other ex-inmates The Insider spoke to. Medov also described how he was force-fed gruel anally:

“On 24.04.2017, the inspector led me away from TLO-7: “You have visitors.” It's the PMC (Public Monitoring Commission), I thought. We reached the entrance to the PNW, and at that point the “steward” and an orderly grabbed me by the wrists, took me to room 13, strapped me to the bed, first face up, and then, when I refused to end the hunger strike, they turned me face down. After that, the “steward” and a “shamed” inmate (with the orderly just standing to one side) tried to force feed me anally (it's a shame for me to describe it, but I must): they poured liquid “gruel” (borscht or something similar) into a hot water bottle and forced a hard plastic pipette up my butt (it hurt a lot, but I kept quiet because I was too ashamed to talk) but they could not pour the gruel in. After several tries, they left, then brought several “shamed” inmates with plates, and threatened me they would use them to feed me (by pouring the gruel into my mouth and thus downgrade me to the “shamed” status). I only scoffed at them in response: “Why are your plates empty?”

Information about torture and abuse in KTB-1 is also confirmed by the former members of the Krasnoyarsk Krai PMC. Memos written by former PMC Chairman Valery Slepukha, available to The Insider, describe, in particular, how the hospital pressured inmate Sulim Bitayev, who, after his relative Islam Magomadov was tortured to death in the SHU, started writing complaints to the Krasnoyarsk Krai Prosecutor's Office, FSIN and GUFSIN – and was sent to KTB-1 as a result. The following is an excerpt from the PMC materials:

“On November 22, 2017, prison hospital staff refused to bring him before the members of the PMC for a private conversation, allegedly because he refused to undergo a body search. Believing it wasn't true, the PMC members themselves proceeded to Bitaev's room in the psycho-neurological ward. The convict said that at about 1:30 pm the officers took him out of his room and having brought him to one of the offices they demanded that he undress in the presence of five officers, all of whom had video recorders. According to the convict, he undressed but agreed to remove his underwear only behind a screen, not in view of those present. This was regarded as a refusal to undergo body search. In front of the PMC members the convict repeated his desire to communicate with the commission members and his willingness to undergo a full body search if his basic privacy is respected (behind a screen and without video recorders). After about 30 minutes Bitayev was taken to the PMC for a talk. According to him, the second search took place in a different way: two officers and a medic were present in the office, and the latter suggested a rectal examination. When asked if it was necessary, he was answered that it was a mandatory procedure before a PMC visit, the first such case in the 14 years of his sentence he had served”.

According to the PMC members, Bitayev was pressured (in particular, he was threatened with Haloperidol injections) into saying on camera he had no complaints against the staff of Correctional Facility 17 and that no force was used against him.

At the time of this writing, The Insider has not received any response to its request for comment from the KTB management.

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