Timur Tumgoev, a native of Ingushetia, was tortured and humiliated in the penal colony, but with his transfer to another penal institution, the risks to his life have increased, his sister Marina Tumgoev told Fortanga.
According to her, in Saratov region, Tumhoev was transferred to a prison hospital, while before that “he was an absolutely healthy man, there was no need for his treatment. “[There] he was forcibly shaved off his beard, shaved bald and almost broke his leg … Later he complained that his kidneys and teeth were hurting, but he was denied medical care,” she claims.
According to her, now Tumhoev has been transferred to the Vladimir region, where, according to the woman, he is threatened with reprisals. She appealed to human rights activists to protect her brother.
“My brother is a religious Muslim. He was not allowed to fast normally, to do namaz, they shaved off his beard. One day the staff took away his gear during the fasting on the Ramadan holiday. They took away his prayer mat and wanted to take away his clothes. Timur said that he would observe the order only if the staff also adhered to the norms of the law. And on that basis he was declared a persistent violator,” she told Fortanga.
Tumgoeva stated all this in a letter to human rights activist Boris Ushakov, who, in turn, addressed on February 7 to Arkady Gostev, director of the Federal Penitentiary Service, as well as to the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, Investigative Committee of Vladimir region, and regional Department of Federal Penitentiary Service with a statement about the attempt on Tumgoeva’s life. A copy of the appeal is available at Fortanga. In the document, the human rights defender demands “to conduct an official check to stop the physical assault, question Tumhoev, establish all the circumstances and the identity of the perpetrators and submit the materials to the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for a legal decision.
In the near future, the prisoner’s sister intends to make similar appeals to the President of the Russian Federation, the Prosecutor General’s Office, the FSIN, and the Investigative Committee. Now she is graduating from law school and wants to become a lawyer in order to defend Timur on her own.
Tumgoeva considers her brother, who was sentenced to 18 years in prison for participating in preparations for combat operations in Syria, innocent. “At the trial, only one of the four witnesses confirmed that Timur was in Syria. The other three recanted their testimony,” she told Fortanga.
She claims that Timur has never been to Syria and has not admitted his guilt, and “he was subjected to pressure from the security forces because he adhered to the strict norms of Islam.
“He was repeatedly detained, the Center A conducted searches at his home. […] I was repeatedly told that sooner or later they would put him in jail, and for a long time. Because of this, he went to Turkey in 2014, and in 2016 he ended up in Ukraine, where he requested political asylum, but was denied. In 2018, he was extradited at Russia’s request, despite the fact that the UN Human Rights Committee had previously banned Ukraine from extraditing him,” she claims.
The press service of the Federal Penitentiary Service refused to comment on the complaint by telephone and offered to write an official appeal, which will be answered not earlier than in seven days.
However, human rights activist Ushakov told “Fortanga” that he has already received an official response from the Vladimir Region Federal Penitentiary Service. “The answer confirms that Tumhoev is indeed in the Vladimir region, it is also reported that during his stay in the facilities of the Vladimir region FSIN no physical force or means of restraint were used on him,” he conveyed the essence of the department’s response.
The human rights activist believes that the complaint should prevent violence against the prisoner. “If my appeal was considered before Tumgoev was brought to the Vladimir region, they most likely won’t use violence against him. I’ve had this kind of practice in my work before. But it is possible that they will ignore my appeal – given what [is happening] in the Vladimir region,” Ushakov suggested.
Recall that Timur Tumgoev, among 40 inmates of a penal colony in the Saratov region, went on hunger strike in May 2021, protesting against the conditions of detention. The protest was stopped because of the health of the convicts, but the problem was not solved to the end, lawyer Sergei Slepukhin told Fortanga at the time.