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Detained Ex-Cop Found Dead by Hanging in Russian Jail Cell

Dmitry Serebryakov / TASS

The family of a former riot police officer, who was found dead in a prison cell on New Year’s day, is seeking a federal investigation into the suspicious circumstances of his death. 

Artyom Tronin was reportedly found hanging from a bedsheet on Jan. 1, with bruises on his body and belt buckle marks around his neck, the Kommersant business daily reported on Tuesday. He was serving a 12-year sentence at a penal colony in central Russia for beating a man to death while on duty and arbitrarily detaining two others.

“We photographed the body. His mouth was ruptured, teeth cracked as if he was squeezing them, his head was torn and his whole body bruised,” Tronin’s mother was cited by Kommersant as saying. 

“Yet the [death] record stated that there were no cuts or injuries on the body.” 

The Tronin family has asked for an official investigation into the circumstances of his death. They seek to recover video footage related to Tronin’s death and investigate the chief and guards of the penal colony. 

Tronin converted to Islam while behind bars and reportedly lodged complaints about his treatment with the prosecutor’s office.

Tronin's mother has maintained that her son did not commit suicide because he was determined to “die standing rather than on his knees." 

“I knew that there would be pressure, but I didn’t think that it would end like this,” she said.

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