Russia: In the Penal Colony

From the article: “All anyone can be sure of is that near the city of Chelyabinsk, by the southern Urals, something horrible is going on. Photographs circulating on the Web show dozens of tiny figures, all wearing black coats and black hats with ear flaps, gathered on the roof of a yellow brick building.  They are holding handmade banners. “The administration extracts $. They beat and humiliate us,” says one. “The administration extracts $,” says a smaller one, hung on a different wall, clearly to maximize the chances that someone will see the men’s message. “There are 1,500 of us,” say two of the banners. The banners appear to have been made from white bed sheets, several of them sewn together for the longer messages.”

According to interviewed relatives, the inmates are protesting placement in solitary confinement, beatings, and sexual abuse.  One person stated that inmates are killing themselves due to conditions, even writing on the banners in their own blood.

The latter seems a bit sensationalist, but there’s no doubt that something is going on – extortion at the very least, judging by the banners.  Read the blog post here.

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