At least 82 prisoners form a Chelyabinsk penal colony have slashed their wrists in protest because they are forced to eat from plates earlier used by other inmates belonging to a “lower caste,” regional human rights ombudsman Alexei Sevastyanov said on Wednesday.
The prisoners injured themselves on Monday. Soon after the incident, the regional penitentiary service cited the prisoners’ demand to have higher salaries and reluctance to abide by the colony’s regime: march in rows and do morning exercises as the reason for the protest act.
Sevastyanov later arrived at the colony along with a public monitoring commission.
“All of the prisoners eat in one dining hall. After having their meal, they hand in their plates to be washed. Some of the prisoners do not like the fact that they have to eat from plates used earlier by inmates belonging to a ‘lower caste.’ This is total nonsense,” Sevastyanov commented.
He emphasized that he does not consider this a violation of human rights. However, the colony’s leadership has made the decision to use disposable plates and increase the inmates’ salaries.