Russia: a prisoners’ rights activist says escaped assassination

A prominent Russian prisoners’ rights activist exiled in France said Monday he had escaped an assassination attempt which he blamed on Russian special services and organized crime.

Vladimir Osechkin heads the project, which has in recent years published videos showing graphic scenes of torture and rape inside Russian prisons. Russian authorities placed him on a wanted list late last year for unspecified crimes.

In a video interview with independent journalist Yulia Latynina, Osechkin alleged that his assassination attempt took place less than a week ago in the southwestern French coastal town of Biarritz.

“I remember bringing plates to the children and seeing in my peripheral vision a red dot moving in my direction over the terrace railing,” he said.