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Russia : jailed activist alleges torture, threats in prison letter

A jailed Russian opposition activist has accused a prison warden of overseeing the systematic torture of inmates and of threatening to kill him, allegations made in a desperate letter to his wife that he asked her to publish to save his life.

Ildar Dadin was sentenced to a three-year term in December 2015, becoming the first Russian to be imprisoned under controversial legislation that criminalizes repeated breaches of public-assembly rules, such as demonstrating in a group without the prior consent of the authorities. He is now serving his sentence at the IK-7 prison in Segezha, in the northwestern Karelia region.

In the letter to his wife, Anastasia Zotova, Dadin wrote that prison authorities planted two blades on him shortly after he arrived at the prison on September 10 so that they could then “find” them during a search, providing a pretext to put him in an isolation cell as punishment.

This is an everyday practice – they do this to make sure to put the new arrivals in the punishment cell so that they immediately realize what a hell they’ve ended up in,” Dadin wrote in the letter, which was dictated to a lawyer and published by the Latvia-based website Meduza on November 1.

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