Staunton, February 23 – Soviet prisons and camps were notorious for many reasons but one of the most horrific aspects of them was the communist practice of considering ordinary criminals as “socially close” to the population and using them to repress and control “the politicals” who were invariably viewed as socially “alien.”
Now, the Russian authorities have updated this ugly practice by pitting ordinary criminals against Muslims convicted of both “extremist” and ordinary crimes and using the former to control the latter. That may make the jailors’ job easier in the short term but only at the cost of further dividing Russian society and radicalizing Muslims who pass through the prison system.
Last week, the Rosbalt news agency reported on a violent clash between a group of professional criminals and Muslims from Chechnya and Daghestan in a camp in the Tuvin Republic, a clash in which the professional criminals attacked the Muslim prisoners for religious and ethnic reasons to cement their dominance (rosbalt.ru/moscow/2017/02/16/1592296.html).
Since then, more details have leaked out; and now two analysts, Azamat Dadayev of the OnKavkaz portal onkavkaz.com/news/1542-zakon-gor-i-shariat-chechency-i-salafity-objavili-ohotu-na-vora-razgromivshego-mechet-na-zone.html) and Bakhtiyar Aripov for the Prague-based Caucasus Times (caucasustimes.com/article.asp?id=21541