Pavel Chikov: Mr. Kalyapin’s Rich Imagination and Gulag Deputy Chief Maksimenko’s Lies

posted 19 Dec 2016, 05:12 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 19 Dec 2016, 05:18 ]
12 December 2016

Source: Moscow Helsinki Group [original source: 7X7]

By Pavel Chikov, director of the International Agora Human Rights Association and member of the Russian Presidential Council on Human Rights

The statements by representatives of the Presidential Human Rights Council (PHRC) in their report to the President on Friday notwithstanding, there are no Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) decrees prohibiting human rights activities, and the department has always helped human rights activists, Russian FSIN Deputy Chief Valery Maksimenko told reporters from news agencies.

Earlier, PHRC representative Igor Kalyapin had told Vladimir Putin that there were obstacles to the implementation of public oversight in places of incarceration.

Mr Maksimenko had stated: “By way of example, Mr. Kalyapin cited his own visit to the prison colony in Segezha in order to verify information about the convicted (for violating the regulations for holding rallies) prisoner (Ildar) Dadin. I want to say right away that neither Mr. Kalyapin nor Mr. [Pavel] Chikov [a PHRC member] nor Mr. [Valery] Borshchev [a Moscow Public Oversight Commission member] were even close to having any right to visit the said colony. The colony is not a public garden or a park but a correctional institution that has a strict entrance permit system, and outsiders are forbidden access. But taking into consideration the outcry provoked by Dadin’s letter and the personal appeal from the PHRC chairman, the decision was made to allow these human rights activists onto colony territory.”

He also noted that the FSIN leadership not only did not bar the human rights activists, it requested their help in discovering evidence of infringements.

“So what happened? For two days, these gentlemen looked, studied, and searched—and found nothing, not a single shred of evidence. Then the fictions and fantasies began, the unfounded accusations. Then Kalyapin states that he wasn’t allowed to bring his dictaphone into the colony, while in fact it was a telephone that he wanted to use as a voice recorder. But this is a means of communication and is a prohibited item in places of incarceration,” Maksimenko clarified.

He explained that carrying a telephone or SIM card in could lead to a fine. Employees can be fired for carrying in a telephone. With respect to convicts’ personal files, the law protecting personal data prohibits allowing outsiders to view them.

“Then Kalyapin’s rich fantasy comes up with a new supposition, that there are certain ‘secret’ FSIN orders that supposedly prohibit human rights activities,” Maksimenko argued. “I will state absolutely outright that there simply are no such orders. This year alone, ONK members visited our institutions more than three thousand times, and they [those institutions] were checked more than six hundred times by associates of the prosecutor’s office.”

The general is lying:

- We were not asked to find violations.

- We did have a dictaphone with us (Gleb Yarovoy will vouch for that, we took it from him and I nearly forgot to give it back).

- There are secret internal orders, there are tacit instructions, and there are stop lists (just ask Vladimir Rubashny or Olga Romanova).

- We were admitted to prison colony No. 7 at the decision of another FSIN deputy chief, Rudoi (see photo of text), so we did have the right to make this visit. Moreover, the letter demanded that assistance be rendered, which was exactly what was not done. Representatives of the media and other individuals have the right to visit institutions and agencies that are responsible for carrying out punishments, by special permission of the administration of these institutions and agencies or else from superior agencies – Article 24, part 3, of the Russian Criminal Code. Read your own code.

- There is no liability for bringing in a telephone; there is liability for passing or attempting to pass it on to someone (Article 19.12 of the Russian Administrative Code, but if the citizen official is legally illiterate, there’s no point in posting it for all to see).

- Kalyapin does not have any kind of rich imagination. I’ve known him for fifteen years, and I have a richer one, but it did not manifest itself in the PHRC’s report.

Most important, I would like to say to the citizen official that our lawyers right now have twenty of your subordinates on trial for torture. Since the beginning of the year, eleven have been convicted.

As of today, the human rights organizations Zone of Truth and Committee for the Prevention of Torture have ten cases in hand related to the torture of convicts in places of incarceration.

These are the regions of Chelyabinsk, Krasnodar, Lipetsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Orenburg, Trans-Baikal and Voronezh, and the Republics of Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, and Kalmykia.

Eleven prison officers (eight in Trans-Baikal region and one each in Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, and Orenburg region) have already been convicted in 2016 for assaulting prisoners. A criminal case against two prison officers is being considered in court (Orenburg region).

Eighteen prison officers (ten in Krasnodar region, five in Kalmykia, two in Chelyabinsk region, and one in Nizhny Novgorod region) are under investigation.

The accused include two former prison colony chiefs (Nizhny Novgorod and Orenburg regions) and three former deputy prison colony chiefs (Krasnodar region, Kalmykia, and Orenburg region).

The majority of the criminal incidents occurred in the years 2015-2016. 

Russian Ministry of Justice
Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN)
14 Zhitnaya Street, Moscow, GSP-1, 119991
tel. (495) 982-19-00
Fax (495) 982-19-30

03.11.2016 No. IXKh-02-69014

To: M.A. Fedotov, Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation, Chairman of the Russian Presidential Council

Dear Mikhail Aleksandrovich,

The Federal Penitentiary Service has examined your appeal dated 1 November 2016, No. A4-9-3026, on the issue of visits by two members of the Russian Presidential Council, I.A. Kalyapin and P.V. Chikov (henceforth, Council members), to the Russian FKU IK-7 [Federal State Institution Penitentiary-7] of the Karelian UFSIN [FSIN Administration].

The Karelian UFSIN has sent the corresponding instruction on rendering assistance to these Council members on their visit of 7-8 November 2016 to the FKU IK-7 of the Karelian UFSIN in accordance with the requirements of the penitentiary legislation of the Russian Federation.


A. A. Rudy [signature] 

Translated by Marian Schwartz