Vladimir Osechkin, head of the human rights organization Gulagu.net, which disclosed recordings of torture against Russian prisoners, was again entered on the list of wanted persons of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Moscow. In an interview with the radio station Echo Moskvy, an activist who has been living in France for several years, said that he was not afraid of this decision.
The inclusion of Osechkin in the wanted persons register of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia was announced on Friday by, inter alia, the Interfax agency.
The ministry informed that Osieczkin was “again” on the list of wanted persons. Previously he was on it in 2020 and then it was about “fraud”.
In July last year, a Moscow court arrested Osechkin in absentia in this case. The activist, referring to this decision, stated that “it has nothing to do with law and morality.” “There is no independent court in Russia. The goal is not me personally. The goal is to destroy the Gulagu.net project, which defends human rights,” Osechkin said on social media.
In early October, Gulagu.net published recordings from Saratov Prison Hospital that testify, that in this place systematic torture of convicts was used. The video footage came from the secret archives of the Federal Prison Service and the Federal Security Service. They were handed over to human rights activists by the Belarusian programmer Sergei Saveliev, who previously served his sentence in a penal colony in the Saratov region and was taken to a prison hospital in Saratov with a suspicion that he had tuberculosis.
Saveliev was the administrator of prison surveillance cameras. Recordings – instead of deleting – copied. When asked by the Russian section of the BBC about how he managed to get them out of prison, he replied: – It is possible when you know how it works, when you know people, you know what to expect from them.
Osechkin: we will continue our work
According to Russian human rights defenders, the current decision of the Ministry of the Interior to put Osechkin back on the wanted list is related to the published recordings. Torture against convicts was used, inter alia, to confess or burden opposition prisoners with it.
Osieczkin has been living in France since 2015. Sawieliew also left for this country, who also found himself on the list of wanted persons.
In an interview with the Echo Moskvy radio station, the creator of Gulagu.net said that he was not afraid of the decision of the internal ministry in Moscow. – I think they will try to send some materials to France, to Interpol. But I have nothing to fear. Me and my colleagues live honestly and openly. In France, we pay taxes and everything we do is absolutely transparent. I left Russia in 2015 precisely because of the threat of false criminal proceedings. I can report to the French police station at any time to explain, ‘he said.
He added that Gulagu.net employees are not afraid of the Russian security forces and will continue their work.
Interfax, BBC, Echo Moskvy
Main photo source: Jonas Petrovas / Shutterstock