Senior Russian Prison Official Apologizes to Inmate for Torture

Andrei Luybimov / Moskva News Agency

A senior Russian prison official has apologized to an inmate whose torture sparked mass outrage this month after footage of it was leaked online.

Yevgeny Makarov was allegedly beaten by at least 10 guards in the city of Yaroslavl in June 2017, according to body cam footage published earlier this month. As in past cases of alleged prison torture, the latest incident has put the spotlight back on Russia’s notorious penal system.

On Tuesday, the deputy chief of the Federal Prison Service, Valery Maksimenko, issued an apology to Makarov and his family in an interview with the Govorit Moskva radio station.

“I’m ashamed of these employees. I’m ashamed of what they’ve done. Of course it’s unacceptable,” Maksimenko was quoted as saying, adding that all the culprits caught on video would be fired.

Six prison guards have already been arrested and at least 17 dismissed since the video was first leaked.

Meanwhile, prisoners in another Yaroslavl penal colony declared a hunger strike on Monday demanding “better terms” after being placed in solitary confinement. Makarov, whose torture video reignited debate over the treatment of prisoners in Russia, was reportedly among those on strike.

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