Prisoner Abuse In Russia

A deeply disturbing video from Yekaterinaburg prison in Russia. Since the beatings are not apparently designed to procure intelligence, it isn’t torture, strictly speaking. Unlike president Bush, however, I’m not inclined to defend the indefensible with semantics. Here’s the YouTube description:

A video discovered by Russian human rights activist Lev Ponomarev reveals cases of significant human rights abuses in a Yekaterinaburg prisoner camp, as the OMON police beat, torture, and intimidate the inmates as part of a "preventative action" to manage the prison population. The footage, which is from 2006, was captured covertly at great personal risk by a prison guard, and later leaked to Ponomarev, who succeeded in getting a brief excerpt aired on REN-TV very late at night. Here is the first full version of the video, brought to public distribution by the lawyer Robert Amsterdam, lawyer for the political prisoner Mikhail Khodorkovsky.