Russian Barbarism Unbound
We admit that we sound like a broken record when we make note of our surprise at Russia’s endless ability to surprise us with ever more horrifying incidents of barbarism. Just when you think Russia has shown you her very worst, she does something so repugnant that you can’t remember why you thought the old stuff was bad at all.
Writing on Robert Amsterdam’s blog, hero journalist Grigori Pasko reports on an article from the official Russian state newspaper, Rossiskaya Gazeta, quoting Russian “Minister of Justice” Alexander Konovalov, who speaks about reforming the Russian prison system’s “SIZO” operations “so that punishment would not break the life for a person, but would achieve goals of bringing him to reason, when this is possible.”
You may not be outraged by this information until you are told that prisoners in SIZO have not yet been convicted of any crime. They are merely being held without bail pending the investigation of their arrest, something that would be flatly unconstitutional and impossible in the United States.
And yet, the Kremlin still feels its appropriate to punish them with harsh conditions of confinement. Perhaps even more outrageous, Konovalov can pass himself off as a liberal by Russian standards by declinging to embrace actual torture.
Pasko, who has personally spent time in the SIZO operation, describes the conditions found there as horrific. Prisoners almost never see the light of day, and face desperate risks of disease and violence, even though they’ve only been accused of a crime and not convicted of anything. In other words, it’s totally inappropriate for the Kremlin to be imposing any form of “punishment” on these inmates, much less the extreme levels of torture it is actually imposing.
What’s particularly stunning is that, despite this barbaric criminal “justice” system that treats citizens like sausage meat, Russia still has the world’s fifth-highest murder rate. In other words, as is always the case with the KGB, Russians have received the worst of all possible worlds — a total loss of civil liberty and out-of-control crime.