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Saturday December 04, 2021

Putin fires prison chief after torture videos

By AFP
November 26, 2021
Putin fires prison chief after torture videos

Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin fired the head of the country’s prison service on Thursday, the Kremlin said in a statement, after harrowing videos of torture and rape inside a jail were leaked.

Putin dismissed Alexander Kalashnikov, who has been targeted by Western sanctions over the jailing of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, with immediate effect. He served as prison chief for only two years.

The Russian leader appointed Arkady Gostev, a police colonel from the interior ministry, in his place. The move comes after rights groups published dozens of videos of torture from inside a prison in the central city of Saratov last month.

They were smuggled out of the facility by a former inmate, Sergei Savelyev, who has since fled Russia and asked for asylum in France. Earlier this month, Russia’s prison service said it had dismissed 18 officials in the Saratov region in connection with the videos and opened several probes.