Person of the Week: Ildar Dadin

posted 14 Nov 2016, 09:23 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 14 Nov 2016, 09:42 ]
On 9 November 2016 Anastasia Zotova, the wife of Ildar Dadin, was able to meet her husband in prison. Ildar Dadin is serving two and a half years in prison for violating draconian Russian legislation restricting right of assembly and freedom of expression that penalizes taking part in multiple unsanctioned protests. Meduza reports that “the meeting lasted four hours, and all that time Dadin told her what had happened him since the day of his arrival in prison colony No. 7 in as much detail as possible." On her Facebook page Zotova had written that Dadin ‘looked terrible’ and asked for prominent human rights defenders Pavel Chikov and Igor Kalyapin, both members of the Presidential Human Rights Council, to come to the prison where he is serving his term so that he could tell them what has happened. 

On 7 and 8 November, Pavel Chikov and Igor Kalyapin visited Ildar Dadin at the Karelian prison colony No. 7 (Chikov is head of Agora International Human Rights Association; Kalyapin is head of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture). Dadin described the torture and beatings to which he had been subjected in prison to the two visitors and said that he had not previously experienced fits resembling epileptic seizures, such as the one which occurred during his 2 November meeting with members of the Public Oversight Commission.

According to Pavel Chikov, Dadin’s arms bore marks from handcuffs. “Such marks can appear if a person’s hands are cuffed from behind, and he is then hung by the wrists. He said there were bruises and abrasions, but after two months they have gone away,” Chikov said.

Chikov and Kalyapin did not meet the head of prison colony No. 7. “Typically when such an emergency situation occurs, the head officials return from leave or holidays. But here the head of the colony, Sergei Kossiyev, was placed on leave after the scandal erupted,” Igor Kalyapin said.

RFE/RL reported that, according to Igor Kalyapin, Dadin refused to be transferred to a different facility out of concern for what would happen to other inmates (earlier Kalyapin had said Dadin should be moved to another penitentiary for his own safety). Igor Kalyapin was also reported as saying that despite promises made, the authorities refused to provide the visitors with documents concerning Dadin’s case and the ​punishments ​imposed on the political prisoner. ‘In particular, we were not given access to a report produced by the prison colony’s staff, or ​to written explanations submitted by Dadin,’ Kalyapin said.

Igor Kalyapin and Pavel Chikov said that there had been protests by eight other prisoners, who were immediately transferred to prison colony No. 1, a maximum security prison in the town of Naidvoitsy​, which is​ ​ in the Segezha district of Karelia.​ They were unable to meet the protesters.

On 9 November, three supporters of Ildar Dadin were detained by police in Moscow as they attempted to hold a protest outside the offices of the prosecutor general in Moscow, RFE/RL reported.

Anastasia Zotova, Facebook
«Никого ты не спасешь» Рассказ Ильдара Дадина о том, что происходило с ним в ИК-7 — до и после его письма о пытках, Meduza, 11 November 2016
'Ildar Dadin: "They forced me to say, Putin is our president."' [Meduza], Rights in Russia, 11 November 2016
'Ildar Dadin's wife describes "total shock" at his condition in prison' [an interview with Anastasia Zotova by Gleb Yarovoi via 7X7], Rights in Russia, 9 November 2016
'Pavel Chikov and Igor Kalyapin visit Karelian prison colony No. 7 where Ildar Dadin is held,' in English, 10 November 2016
'Political prisoner Ildar Dadin describes torture and beatings to members of Human Rights Council,' in English, 8 November 2016
Agora International Human Rights Association website
Committee for the Prevention of Torture website
'Russian Rights Defender Says Dadin Must Be Moved To Different Prison,' RFE/RL, 8 November 2016
'Russian Rights Defender Says Dadin Refuses To Be Transferred To Different Prison,' RFE/RL, 9 November 2016
'Police Detain Supporters Of Jailed Russian Activist,' RFE/RL, 9 November 2016