London — Group Issues grim report on labor camp in Urals
Amnesty International has published a grim account of life for political prisoners in a ''special regime'' Soviet labor camp 750 miles from Moscow. The human rights group says it believes the account to be authentic, although it has not been able to corroborate its details.
The report said that cells at the camp near Perm in the Ural Mountains contained up to five prisoners, each allotted six feet of space, and stank for lack of ventilation. The food was often rotten, and frequently the only water available was so foul it had to be boiled before being drunk. Exercise was taken in cells known as ''barrels,'' concrete rectangles half a dozen paces long and covered with a barbed-wire grid, it said.
The report said authorities denied prisoners access to legal documents relating to their case, often confiscated letters to and from relatives, and took away anything they wrote down.
Special-regime camps are designated by the Soviets for especially dangerous prisoners, but at least half of those at the Perm camp are there after repeated prosecution for nonviolent attempts to express their beliefs, Amnesty said.