Together with its partners (Public Verdict, Harm Reduction International, UnMODE, Man and Law, Citizen’s Watch, Russia Behind Bars, DIGNITY, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, Protection for Prisoners of Ukraine & Ukraine Without Torture), EPLN has submitted a series of reports to the UN Human Rights Council on the situation of prisons and detention centres in Russia and occupied Ukraine.
These reports highlight the systemic and structural human rights violations committed by the Russian government in prisons and detention centres. They will be examined under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the 44th session of the HRC in October 2023.
TORTURE | Torture remains a widespread and persistent practice in Russian prisons. However, officials responsible for it go largely unpunished, while victims seeking redress face reprisals. Furthermore, there are no clear statistics and public information on cases of torture in prisons, which leads to a lack of knowledge of the exact extent of the problem. Prisoners are also often used by the prison administration to torture other prisoners and maintain order inside prisons.
HEALTH | Prison doctors in Russia are placed under the authority of the prison administration, which has a deleterious effect on the provision of health and harm reduction services, as well as proper recording and collection of evidence of torture
INDEPENDENT MONITORING | Russian authorities are deliberately undermining the effectiveness and independence of Public monitoring commissions, bodies responsible for independent prison monitoring and visits, resulting in a decrease in the transparency of the penitentiary system.
RECRUITMENT OF PRISONERS | The private military contractor “Wagner Group” has recruited thousands of prisoners to wage war in Ukraine along Russian forces, in breach of domestic and international law, as well as fundamental human rights
OCCUPIED UKRAINE | In areas of Ukraine under Russian occupation, people held in prisons, police stations and social and healthcare institutions endured harsh detention conditions, torture and ill-treatment; numerous victims were killed or faced immediate risk to their life.
EPLN also participated in a joint submission by civil society organisations on the non-implementation by Russian authorities of previous UPR recommendations