Coronavirus: Activists call for amnesty amid signs Covid-19 is beginning to hit Russian jails

In a prison system that has no intensive care beds and as many as half of the population have weakened immune systems, a selective release of inmates appears to be the only viable option, Oliver Carroll finds

Wednesday 15 April 2020 06:18

On Friday evening, Russian newswires took a brief pause from the coronavirus.

In Siberian Angarsk, deep in one of the most criminal regions of Russia, hundreds of prisoners were staging a mutiny. The footage emanating from prison colony No 15 was shocking: inmates in crowded cells slitting their forearms in protest at alleged violence from guards; videos of the prisoners begging relatives to intervene; flames engulfing much of the prison territory; and an unforgiving special forces operation to regain control.

One prisoner died, circumstances yet to be ascertained, in what was the most serious prison riot in Russia in living memory.

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