Tag Archives: prisoner

Freed in prisoner swap, Ukraine's Sentsov warns: Don't trust Russia

Freed in prisoner swap, Ukraine's Sentsov warns: Don't trust RussiaUkrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov on Tuesday warned against trusting Russian President Vladimir Putin, after Moscow freed him from jail in a historic prisoner swap with Kiev this weekend. Dressed casually in a polo shirt and jeans, the 43-year-old seemed calm and composed at his first news conference since flying to Kiev on Saturday along with 34 other Ukrainian prisoners. “As far as Russia’s wishes for peace go, a wolf can put on a lamb’s clothing, but his teeth don’t disappear.



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Female prisoner who asked for help says she was 'beaten so badly' she was paralyzed

Female prisoner who asked for help says she was 'beaten so badly' she was paralyzedA female inmate in a Florida prison who said she was beaten by four guards has sued the state’s corrections agency. Cheryl Weimar said the alleged beating left her paralyzed, ane with with “serious and life-threatening injuries, including a broken neck,” in a complaint filed in district court on Tuesday.



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Female prisoner who asked for help 'beaten so badly by prison guards she was left paralysed and in need of 24hr care for rest of her life'

Female prisoner who asked for help 'beaten so badly by prison guards she was left paralysed and in need of 24hr care for rest of her life'A female inmate in a Florida prison who said she was beaten by four guards has sued the state’s corrections agency.Cheryl Weimar said the alleged beating left her paralysed with “serious and life-threatening injuries, including a broken neck” in a complaint filed in district court on Tuesday.



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The Latest: Trump applauds Ukraine-Russia prisoner trade

The Latest: Trump applauds Ukraine-Russia prisoner tradeU.S. President Donald Trump is praising the exchange of prisoners carried out by Russia and Ukraine. The trade could give new impetus to efforts to end a five-year conflict Russian-backed separatists are fighting in Ukraine’s east, as well as improve longstanding poor relations between the two countries. Trump tweeted: “Russia and Ukraine just swapped large numbers of prisoners.



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Ukraine releases 'key MH17 suspect' ahead of expected prisoner swap with Russia

Ukraine releases 'key MH17 suspect' ahead of expected prisoner swap with RussiaA Kiev court has released a “key suspect” in the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight 17 shortly before Vladimir Putin said prisoner swap negotiations with Ukraine were in their final stages, raising fears among European politicians that the man will be sent to Russia. That would put him out of the reach of international investigators, as Russia doesn't typically extradite its citizens.  Vladimir Tsemakh, a former fighter for Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine who was captured and smuggled across the frontlines in June, was released from custody on his own recognisance on Thursday. He is slated to go on trial for terrorism in October but has not been fitted with an electronic tag.  Ukrainian nationalists later protested with road flares outside the court, calling it a “terrorist accomplice” and “branch of the FSB”. Mr Tsemakh reportedly commanded anti-aircraft defences in the town of Snizhne when a Buk missile fired from the area brought down MH17 in July 2014, killing 298, including 10 Britons.  The Dutch-led joint investigative team has said the Russian military deployed the Buk launcher to eastern Ukraine, findings denied by Moscow, and charged three Russians and a Ukrainian with murder in June. Court proceedings are scheduled for March. Nationalists protest outside the court after Mr Tsemakh was released Credit: Sergii Kharchenko/EPA-EFE/REX Discussing the downing of MH17 in a 2015 Russian nationalist video interview, Mr Tsemakh said that he “got that guy out” and “hid” something. Although the exact word was bleeped out, many believe that he was saying he had hid the “Buk” after the plane was shot down.  Rumours began appearing in recent weeks that Mr Tsemakh could be included in the prisoner exchange that Moscow and Kiev have been negotiating since Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy called Mr Putin in July. A Russian newspaper quoted sources on Thursday as saying that Moscow demanded Mr Tsemakh in exchange for freeing Crimean director and Amnesty International prisoner of conscience Oleg Sentsov. If true, that would be an unusual level of interest by Moscow in the fate of a foreign national, as Mr Tsemakh is a Ukrainian citizen, and suggest it does not want him to be questioned. In a letter to Mr Zelenskiy on Wednesday, 40 MEPs including Catherine Rowett of the United Kingdom opposed Russia's alleged requests to trade for Mr Tsemakh, calling him a “key suspect” in the MH17 investigation who should testify in the case. Dutch chief prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said in a leaked letter to his Ukrainian counterparts last week that Mr Tsemakh's status as a suspect meant that “keeping him available for (further) questioning by the joint investigation team is therefore of the utmost importance”.  A spokeswoman for the team told media on Thursday that it wanted him to remain in Ukraine, as it would be difficult to question him if he was sent to Russia. Vladimir Putin speaks at a forum in Vladivostok on Thursday Credit: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg The Ukrainian prosecutor general's office also objected to the release of Mr Tsemakh, whom it called “an important element of truth-seeking in this case”. Mr Putin breathed new life into the prisoner exchange process on Thursday when he said at the eastern economic forum in Vladivostok that a “fairly large” swap was close to being agreed.  “We're approaching the finalisation of the negotiations that we are holding with the official authorities, among others,” he said. “I think this will become known in the near future.” Ukrainian officials had said the trade of 33 prisoners from each side would happen last Friday, only to have Moscow dismiss this.  Among others, Kiev is hoping to bring home 24 sailors captured when their three navy vessels were seized in November trying to pass through the Kerch strait, which since the annexation of Crimea has been controlled by Russia.  Several Ukrainian prisoners in Russia have been moved from far-flung prison colonies to Moscow in recent weeks. Mr Tsemakh's dramatic seizure in separatist territory by a grab team of Ukrainian agents who reportedly drugged him and smuggled him across the de facto border in a wheelchair was the first of its kind. Some 13,000 people have been killed in the conflict in eastern Ukraine since 2014.



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Ukraine president's office says no prisoner swap with Russia yet

Ukraine president's office says no prisoner swap with Russia yetThe office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Friday said no prisoner swap had taken place with Russia yet and the process was ongoing, after an earlier Facebook post by Ukraine’s general prosecutor suggested a swap had been completed. Ukraine is hoping to secure the release of dozens of prisoners, including 24 sailors who were detained by Russia in the Kerch Strait last year, and filmmaker Oleg Sentsov. “The process of the prisoner swap is ongoing.



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After Beating and Hernia, American Prisoner Paul Whelan Refused Hospitalization by FSB Doctors

After Beating and Hernia, American Prisoner Paul Whelan Refused Hospitalization by FSB DoctorsKIRILL KUDRYAVTSEVMOSCOW–Paul Whelan, a U.S. citizen held in Russia on suspicion of spying, looked pale and sick when his prison guards brought him to Lefortovo court on Friday. He said he had been beaten and is suffering from a hernia, but his condition is hardly a surprise after eight months in Moscow’s Lefortovo, a prison run but the Russian Federal Security Service, FSB, and it looks like Whelan has learned only too well how incarceration there operates.Whelan is facing 20 years in Russian prison for spying, after accepting a flashcard that allegedly contains some sensitive information. His family is far away, he does not speak the Russian language, and on top of everything the 49-year-old security manager for a Michigan-based auto parts company is suffering from a painful inguinal hernia, with part of his intestine having ruptured the abdominal wall.Paul Whelan, Accused U.S. Spy Held in Moscow, Says a Russian Investigator Threatened His LifeWhen the judge suggested calling an ambulance in the middle of the hearing on Friday morning, Whelan rejected the idea, as a useless waste of time: “The nurses won’t take me to a hospital, they will only check my blood pressure, temperature, and say, ‘You are fine,’” he told the court.By now Whelan must have learned the rules and brutal methods in Russian prisons. “No ordinary ambulance can take a prisoner who is under FSB investigation to the hospital,” Alexander Cherkasov, chair of the Memorial Human Rights Center told The Daily Beast. “There is a specialized hospital 20 where they normally take sick prisoners, after a certain bureaucratic procedure.”Also, no Russian nurse working for an ambulance carries strong painkillers. (Russian doctors are not allowed to prescribe strong drugs even for people dying in agonizing pain, so Russians suffer from pain all over the country, many committing suicide.)Whelan looked and sounded doomed. He said that his health condition worsened after his prison guard beat him. The incident happened earlier this month, when Whelan was being moved from one cell to another. Whelan’s lawyer, Vladimir Zherebenkov, told The Daily Beast, “I have checked: prison guards did not know that my client had a hernia, they made him carry all his stuff himself to a different cell. The treatment in Lefortovo is inhuman.”  On Friday, Whelan told the judge, “If you call for a doctor who would hospitalize me, I don’t mind calling for the ambulance.” But just as he predicted, the nurses on call checked him right at Lefortovo Court and decided against his hospitalization.Whelan, who holds U.S., Canadian, British, and Irish passports, was arrested on December 28 in his hotel room a few steps away from the Kremlin. His lawyer Zherebenkov predicted early on the way the case was likely to develop: “They will pickle Paul for a year or more, as he is clearly just a pawn; and then they will swap him for some important Russian kept in American prison,” the lawyer told The Daily Beast in January.Almost eight months later Zherebenkov still has not seen any solid evidence establishing his client’s guilt. “The FSB  investigation has not presented us with a single solid piece of material, so our truth in this case is even stronger than half a year ago–that’s why FSB want more time,” the lawyer said.Meet Putin’s American Prisoner, Paul WhelanAccording to Media Zona, a group of journalists reporting on news about Russian prisons and court cases, at least 99 detainees died in detention centers and prisons used by investigators in 2016. Many more died in prison camps. “It is hard for us to find out what causes the deaths of prisoners—when prison guards crack somebody’s head open, they say that the detainee fell down and died in an accident,” Dmitry Shvets, a Media Zona reporter told The Daily Beast. But the problem is not just physical violence. “Lefortovo prison is famous for psychological torture by isolation. The inmates cannot communicate with each other, no prisoner has a chance to use a phone.”Whelan’s family was aware that the FSB wanted to extend the time for investigation for two more months. ”This morning's hearing was more theatrical than his previous hearings—ejecting the media, calling an ambulance—but we were not surprised by the result,” Whelan’s twin brother, David, told The Daily Beast.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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'Free from this nightmare': Prisoner released after rape victim's startling revelation

'Free from this nightmare': Prisoner released after rape victim's startling revelationJames Clay had begun serving a 25 – 50 year prison sentence for rape based on DNA. He was released following a Free Press investigation into his case.



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Kazimierz Albin, early Auschwitz prisoner, dies in Poland

Kazimierz Albin, early Auschwitz prisoner, dies in PolandKazimierz Albin, the last survivor of the first convoy of prisoners sent by the Nazis to the Auschwitz death camp has died at the age of 96, the camp museum said on Tuesday. “With great sorrow we received information about the death of Kazimierz Albin, the last living survivor of the first transport of Poles to the German Auschwitz camp (No. 118),” the Auschwitz Memorial said on its official Twitter site. Born in 1922 the southern Polish city of Krakow, Albin was arrested by the Nazis in January 1940 in Slovakia where he had fled after Germany occupied Poland in 1939.



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Ukraine's president says he backs prisoner swap with Russia

Ukraine's president says he backs prisoner swap with RussiaUkraine’s president on Friday outlined the details of an impending prisoner swap with Russia, saying that Kiev is willing to release a jailed Russian journalist in exchange for a Ukrainian film director. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s statement comes at the end of the week of shuttle diplomacy, with the Russian and Ukrainian human rights ombudswomen holding talks both in Moscow and in Kiev. The flurry of activity around imprisoned Russians and Ukrainians follows last week’s first telephone call between Zelenskiy and Russian President Vladimir Putin.



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