Russian prison (symbol): The uprising occurred in a facility in the republic of North Ossetia-Alania
Photo: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP
The authorities are investigating a riot of at least 200 inmates in a prison in southern Russia. The investigation committee announced on Saturday in the republic of North Ossetia-Alania that criminal proceedings had been initiated for organizing and participating in unrest. In the incident on Friday in the regional capital of Vladikavkaz, which is near the border with Georgia, there should have been no injuries or deaths. Police special forces were reportedly called in to help.
According to the investigators, the unrest occurred because two detainees ignored instructions from the guards when they searched cells.
They then called other prisoners to the uprising, it is said.
The crowd tried, among other things, to destroy bars and surveillance cameras.
It should also have burned.
Videos on social networks showed a large police presence.
Local media wrote that prison conditions in the camp had recently deteriorated.
Some prisoners went on hunger strike as a result, said the human rights officer of the region in the North Caucasus of the Interfax agency.
There are many problems in the prison.
There was talk of violence against prisoners in the media.
Prisoners were allegedly beaten
According to the human rights organization Gulagu.net, the mutiny was triggered when guards beat prisoners with rubber truncheons.
In order to stop this harassment, some inmates cut their veins, the activists said on the Telegram online service.
Vladimir Ossetschkin of Gulagu.net told AFP news agency that injuring one's own body was a way for Russian inmates to draw attention to violent attacks by prison staff.
Gulagu.net is an anti-torture organization with resources in the Russian penal system.
Russia's penal camps are notorious for brute force, according to countless eyewitness reports.
There is international criticism of it.
Most recently, human rights activists published torture videos from a prison hospital in the city of Saratov.
On the footage from the facility around 900 kilometers southeast of Moscow, scenes of severe abuse of men could be seen.
mbö / dpa / AFP