Site Archive‎ > ‎POC‎ > ‎Chelyabinsk‎ > ‎

Certificate of Inspection of Penal Colony No. 25, Chelyabinsk Region

27 February 2013

Chelyabinsk Region Public Oversight Commission for the public monitoring of human rights in places of detention
Chelyabinsk Region, ulitsa Yelkina, Chelyabinsk, 454000 

Working group under the leadership of Nikolai Shchur 
(D. Latypova, V. Prikhodkina, N. Shchur and T. Shchur) 

Chelyabinsk Region Public Foundation for Democracy 
Urals Democratic Foundation 
16-A Ulitsa Ostrovskogo, Chelyabinsk,454008 
tel./fax (351)7910522, e-mail: 

Certificate of inspection to verify observance of the rights of citizens being held in detention in the federal state institution Penal Colony No. 25 (Zlatoust) run by the Chief Directorate of the Federal Penitentiary Service for Chelyabinsk Region

Date and time of inspection: 27 February 2013, 9:55 am - 2:20 pm 
Members of the Public Oversight Commission inspectors group: N. Shchur, T. Shchur 
Address of institution: 6 Ulitsa Panfilova, Zlatoust 
Telephone number of head: 8(35136)26833 
Head of institution: Lieutenant Colonel Of Internal Service Valery Ivanov 
Occupancy rate of institution: capacity 1,230, inmates 747, blocks: 10 plus punishment cells and cell blocks – 10 cells, which on the day of inspection held 13 prisoners. 

In addition to staff of the institution, the Commission was also accompanied by acting Human Rights Assistant to the Head of the Chief Directorate of the Federal Penitentiary Service for Chelyabinsk, Dmitry Khromov, and Head of the Directorate of Labour and Employment for Inmates in Special Penal Colonies of the Chief Directorate of the Federal Penitentiary Service, Colonel of Internal Service Andrei Bogachev. 

With the exception of private meetings, the work of the Public Oversight Commission was photographed by the press service of the Chief Directorate of the Federal Penitentiary Service.

From the colony's leadership we obtained certificates "On the organisation of employment of prisoners", the salary system and healthcare. Separately, on the initiative of a representative of the regional Directorate, the commission was given the "Certificate on Fulfilling the Internal Government Contract to Supply Fire Engines." 

The leadership of the penal colony did not put any obstacles in the way of the commission carrying out its work, including in terms of making available the personal records of prisoners (however, the need to look at personal records did not arise). 


List of places inspected

Punishment cells, cell blocks (all cells), strict regime unit, vocational training school, manufacturing sites: foundry, mechanical assembly unit, sewing room; medical centre, counselling room, psychologist's office and psychological release room.

Copies of the inspection certificate were given to the head of the penal colony and acting Human Rights Assistant to the Head of the Chief Directorate of the Federal Penitentiary Service for Chelyabinsk, Dmitry Khromov, who joined the commission during the inspection. 

The certificate of the inspection which was compiled by the institution was signed.

The Public Oversight Commission's visit was recorded in the institution's visitor's log.

The Commission notes the following:

The living conditions in the premises and punishment cells visited are satisfactory: it is warm, the floors in the punishment cells are mostly made of wood, there is cold running water in the cells in the main cell blocks and units. On the inside of the doors in the punishment cells and cells in the main blocks there is the minimum required legal information.

We talked to prisoners in the strict regime unit, in workplaces and in the punishment cells. They had no complaints about their conditions of detention.

Inmates' salaries, regardless of where they work, are no higher than 5,000-6,000 roubles a month (no higher than the minimum wage). Between 200 and 1,000 roubles is paid into personal accounts. The reason for this is the system for paying salaries, which has been imposed by the Federal Penitentiary Service (Federal Penitentiary Service Directive No. 624 of 13 November 2008) and which, in the opinion of the commission, is a serious violation of the prisoners' constitutional rights. (An examination of the Federal Penitentiary Service system for paying prisoners' wages will be presented in a separate document). 

We inspected the organisations that provide medical and psychological help to the inmates. There were no complaints against the staff of the penal colony on these matters, but there are complaints against the regional directorate for the absence of a number of tests for HIV-positive prisoners within the competence of the regional directorate.

The Commission notes that the manufacturing base in the penal colony is meagre: there is virtually no machinery equipment, even clothing manufacture is minuscule, which is the main factor accounting for the low levels of manufacturing work for the prisoners. A striking example of this is the situation where the machinery equipment in the vocational training school is based on the numerous bits of machinery equipment from mechanical assembly floors. In view of the almost complete absence of machinery (working machinery in the unit amounts to two sawing machines for the whole colony), the colony is only capable of carrying out the most rudimentary metalworking tasks (cutting sections and welding them using a household welding machine). Given the primitive state of the manufacturing base it is difficult to count on there being any provision of "education for prisoners through work."

In the model section of the foundry there is no ventilation, and the workers are not given individual respiratory protection. 

Everyone who we managed to talk to, and those with whom we had private meetings, said that physical force had not been used by the staff against the inmates for the last six months. (The Commission did not notice any signs of physical abuse of prisoners during the inspection). 

The Commission notes:

1. At sites where hazardous industry is carried out the inmates did not follow safety guidelines:
In the model section of the foundry the workers have no individual respiratory protection: there is no ventilation in the work area.

2. Prisoners said that no one ever gives them work orders or checks the work orders after the work has been completed.

3. All the prisoners who had been in the punishment cells said that they were always invited to meetings of the commissions who were responsible for examining the violations for which they had been put in the punishment cell, where they could give their explanations about the offence. However, no one knew that they could appeal against the punishment given to them.

4. Most of the prisoners held in the punishment cells are there for short periods (3-5 days).

Recommendations of the Commission for the Chief Directorate of the Federal Penitentiary Service for Chelyabinsk Region

1. Step up measures to explain to prisoners the necessity of following safety guidelines in hazardous working areas, tighten controls of protective equipment, provide workers with protective equipment. 

2. Carry out an examination of the punishment block with the aim of eliminating the damp in the cells.

3. Conduct an examination of the validity of the setting of rates and payment of salaries in the penal colony, in so doing not being afraid of revising Federal Penitentiary Service Directive No. 624.

4. Keep the workers informed about how their wages are calculated (hand out payslips detailing credits and deductions).

Special note

The "Certificate on Fulfilling the Internal Government Contract to Supply Fire Engines," which specifies a list of components for fire engines manufactured by the colony on its manufacturing base, is deeply puzzling, insofar as the colony does not physically possess the machinery equipment needed to produce precision metalwork.

Members of the Public Oversight Commission 
N Shchur 
T Shchur