Former inmate who exposed torture in Russian colonies tells his story

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The website with information about repression in Russia,, has published an interview with Belarusian IT specialist Syarhei, who helped publicize the information about mass torture in Russian prisons.

The Belarusian man lived in Russia. In 2013, he was asked to hand somebody over a bag. There were drugs inside Syarhei says he was unaware of. In 2015, Syarhei was sentenced to nine years in prison. He served his sentence in the Saratov region and was also abused.

As an IT specialist, he was forced to cooperate with the prison administration. He managed the prison’s computer network and provided access to video files from the Russian prison system. This allowed him to gain access to videos of torture practiced in the colony and pass them on to human rights activists.

The programmer stated that he wanted to get the word out about the torture of prisoners in Russia. After his release, Syarhei sought political asylum in the European Union.

“I adapted to the system, managed to adjust my skills, became valuable asset there, but never, never did I rape, mock, try to humiliate other people in any way. I’ve seen it all,” admitted the Belarusian.

According to the programmer, he hadn’t expected such a response.

According to the human rights project, it had received more than 40 gigabytes of videos, documents, and photos of torture and rape in Russian prisons. Some of the videos have already been published.

A criminal case was opened after the publication of three recordings of torture at the Saratov TB hospital. Several heads of the regional prison departments were fired.