An independent Russian organization claims to have thousands of videos showing inmates in Russian prisons mistreated and sexually abused by guards. A number of images have been released from a prison near Saratov, a town on the Volga River. Russian authorities say they are studying the videos.
The images were shared with, among others, the Russian news site MediaZona and the independent Russian news site. The Moscow Times. The beatings would serve to force cooperation or a confession.
“If the authenticity of this material can be confirmed, it will trigger a serious investigation,” a Kremlin spokesman said. According to Russian media, the government sent a team to Saratov prison to investigate the allegations.
The non-governmental organization, Gulagu.net, says the “unprecedented leak” will send a “shock wave” across the country. The founder told the Moscow Times he had more than 40 gigabytes of hardware in his hands. These are not only images of the prison near Saratov, but also of other detention centers.
The organization plans to post more images in the coming days. The Moscow Times and the Reuters news agency say they cannot verify the authenticity of the images themselves.
Ex-convict leaked footage
A Belarusian ex-prisoner reportedly leaked the footage; the man is said to be a computer scientist and to have had access to the computer systems of the prison near Saratov. The whistleblower reportedly left Russia earlier this week.
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