Аlla Konstantinova was selected for the 2020 European Press Prize shortlist with “I hung there trussed up like a broiler”: Prisoners of a penal colony in Petrozavodsk tell of torture and the chief who ‘likes to beat people’
Аlla Konstantinova (1988) is a reporter for “Mediazonа”, a Russian media outlet that reports on human rights violations, prison, tortures, courts and all associated issues. She writes about human rights abuses and social injustice. Her work has appeared in “Current Time,” Deutsche Welle, “Echo of Moscow,” and other esteemed outlets. Alla lives in a small Russian town called Petrozavodsk, so she also works as a regional journalist.
At the end of September 2019, she wrote an article for “Mediazonа” that described a regular practice of torturing prisoners at Correctional Colony No. 9 Petrozavodsk. There, she asserts prisoners suffer from beatings, cold, hunger, humiliation and thorough religious restrictions.They were silent for years, but their patience is over. Prison warden Ivan Savelyev said he would sue Konstantinova and asked the Investigative Committee to investigate her article for slander. But two weeks later a video appeared online that appeared to show Savelyev beating a prisoner himself. Then a criminal case was opened, but there are still no official suspects. Savelyev and his deputy, Ivan Kovalyov, are still free in spite of evidence of the use of torture. Konstantinova was harassed by the prison warden in question and received threats from one of the colony officers during her investigation.