Muslim prisoners in Russia during the COVID-19 pandemic

BY DR. RUSTAMJON URINBOYEV

In a new blog post on prisons during the pandemic, Dr. Rustamjon Urinboyev turns to the experiences of Muslim prisoners in contemporary Russia. Drawing on his extensive fieldwork among migrants from Uzbekistan who have served prison sentences in the Russian Federation, he analyses the everyday practices of these transnational prisoners and their prison communities, and explains how these practices have changed since the onset of coronavirus-related lockdowns.

Continue reading “Muslim prisoners in Russia during the COVID-19 pandemic”

Streamed discussion event: “COVID-19 in Russia and Eurasia”, 11 June 2020

Please join our discussion event “COVID-19 in Russia and Eurasia”, which will be open to the public through online streaming from the University of Helsinki Think Corner on 11 June 2020 at 14.00-15.30.  Olga Zeveleva will join University of Helsinki researchers Margarita Zavadskaya and Sherzod Eraliev to take a look at how the COVID-19 crisis has affected politics, the economy, and punishment in Russia and Eurasia over the past several months. Mikhail Nakonechnyi will chair the discussion.  Audiences are invited to join the discussion via Twitter and send in their comments and questions using hashtag #coronainrussia. You can read more about the event here. A YouTube video of the full event is available here.

Prisons and the typhus/typhoid epidemic of 1908-1910: How the Russian Imperial penal system contained the outbreak

BY DR. MIKHAIL NAKONECHNYI

In a new blog post on the history of pandemics in prisons, Dr. Mikhail Nakonechnyi takes an in-depth look at the typhus and typhoid outbreak in the Russian Empire in 1908-1910. He analyses the range of measures the government employed to contain the epidemic, and compares these historical events with COVID-19 in present-day Russian prisons.

Continue reading “Prisons and the typhus/typhoid epidemic of 1908-1910: How the Russian Imperial penal system contained the outbreak”

Prisons and the cholera epidemic of 1892-1893: How the Russian Imperial penal system contained the outbreak

BY DR. MIKHAIL NAKONECHNYI

In a new series of posts, historian Mikhail Nakonechnyi, Postdoctoral Researcher on the Gulag Echoes project, takes a look at how epidemics were contained in the prisons of the Russian Empire. The first of his two posts analyses the Cholera epidemic of 1892-1893. You can read the second post here. Continue reading “Prisons and the cholera epidemic of 1892-1893: How the Russian Imperial penal system contained the outbreak”

Living in prison: Responses to COVID-19 in Georgia’s penal system and implications for how we think about the ‘inside’ and the ‘outside’

BY DR. COSTANZA CURRO

Dr. Costanza Curro, a Postdoctoral research fellow on the Gulag Echoes project, has been analysing what Georgia’s penal system responses to COVID-19 can tell us about divides between the prison and the ‘outside world’. In this post, Costanza considers how exceptional pandemic-driven measures expose the contradictions of the prison itself.    

Continue reading “Living in prison: Responses to COVID-19 in Georgia’s penal system and implications for how we think about the ‘inside’ and the ‘outside’”

New episode of Meduza’s podcast “The Naked Pravda” features insights from the Gulag Echoes research project

Olga Zeveleva was a guest on Meduza’s English-language podcast “The Naked Pravda,” hosted by Kevin Rothrock. The episode is titled Pandemic Justice: How COVID-19 and coronavirus containment measures have exacerbated problems in Russia’s courts and prisons.” Other guests included Kirill Koroteev, head of international practice at the “Agora” international human rights group; Ksenia Runova of the Institute for the Rule of Law at the European University at St. Petersburg; investigative journalist Liliya Yapparova; and Valentina Dekhtyarenko, project manager at the “Open Russia” human rights group. You can listed to the podcast here.

Olga Zeveleva’s new Op-Ed about prison riots out in Novaya Gazeta

In a new article published by the Russian-language news outlet Novaya Gazeta, Dr. Olga Zeveleva has summarized her analysis of prison riots taking place in March in April all over the world. In the op-ed, titled “Hyperisolation regimes: Coronavirus prison riots will enter penal history,” she argues that as prison systems in different countries move towards increased isolation of prisoners (for example, through visitation bans, which sometimes include lawyers and human rights groups), the new rules are causing prisoners to mobilize and protest. At the same time, the hyperisolation resulting from such policies is making prison riots all the more dangerous and deadly due to dwindling oversight of what is happening inside prison walls. You can find the blog post that presents the findings and methods she drew on for the media article on the Gulag Echoes blog.

Prison Riots and the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Global Uprising?

At least 108 prisoners from 15 countries have died in coronavirus-related prison riots during the past month. In this post, Dr. Olga Zeveleva introduces the prison riots database she is building, and considers the question of whether we are currently witnessing a global prison uprising. Dr. Sofia Gavrilova, a geographer funded by the Christ Church Research Fund (University of Oxford), is mapping the protests and riots.

Continue reading “Prison Riots and the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Global Uprising?”

New Op-ed by Olga Zeveleva in Novaya Gazeta on COVID-19 in prison systems around the world

Dr. Olga Zeveleva has summarized her study on responses to COVID-19 in prison systems around the world in a media article published by the prominent Russian-language news outlet Novaya Gazeta. In the article, titled “Carceral Pandemic: How prison systems in different countries are reacting to the COVID-19 threat,” she argues that we cannot view prisons as remote spaces removed from the “rest” of society, and that in the current pandemic there is no such thing as “prison health” – there is simply public health. You can find the blog post that presents the findings and methods she drew on for the media article on the Gulag Echoes blog