Victim in viral Russian jail torture video granted state protection
Makarov received documents designating him as a victim in the prisoner abuse case on Wednesday, the Public Verdict Foundation, a human rights group which represents him, said in a statement posted Saturday. The new status grants Makarov state protection. His lawyers previously said that Makarov expressed fear for his life.
The torture incident occurred in a prison in the central Russian city of Yaroslavl more than a year ago, but was uncovered only last July when a gruesome video of Federal Penitentiary Service officers assaulting Makarov was released by Novaya Gazeta. The 10-minute footage, provided to the newspaper by Makarov’s lawyer, shows the officers pinning the handcuffed inmate on the table and taking turns mercilessly beating him with rubber batons and their fists. Some of the officers could be heard making jokes. The victim reportedly lost consciousness several times during the torture.
The video sparked outrage in Russia and ignited a nationwide discussion on the abuse of detainees in Russian prisons.
The Investigative Committee launched a criminal case against the prison personnel. Most of the jailers in the torture video were identified, and 11 of them were detained. Another prison official, a deputy warden, was placed on house arrest. In all, 17 prison workers were suspended from their duties in relation to the case.
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