Russia probes clips of women's prison beatings
Russian investigators opened a probe on Wednesday after the release of videos apparently showing inmates at a women's prison in the Far Eastern Amur region being hit and kicked.
The three videos posted on Monday show a man in a cap and camouflage uniform walking up to women in a cell and lashing out at them with his fists and boots and pulling their hair.
A caption accompanying the videos posted on YouTube says the footage shows women in a punishment cell.
The regional investigative committee will check whether the incidents really happened and the identities of the people shown, before deciding whether to prosecute, a statement published on its website said.
The region's prosecutors' office also announced that it would inspect the colony.
In March, the head of Russia's prison service, Alexander Reimer, condemned the prison conditions in the Amur region, which borders China, as "Stone Age."
The videos show footage playing on closed-circuit television screens, suggesting they were filmed by a security guard.
Whistle-blowers leaking videos to YouTube have turned into a powerful force in Russia, with authorities forced to react by evidence that spreads uncontrollably through social media.
The videos can be seen at: http://www.youtube.com/user/MrArtur113#p/a/u/2/5SJ7fUARzhU
© 2011 AFP