Putin expels the head of the prison service after leaking footage of torture and rape of prisoners

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the expulsion of the head of the prison service on Thursday, the Kremlin said in a statement carried by AFP, after horrific footage of torture and rape in a Russian prison was leaked and published.

Alexander Kalasnikov, who was subject to Western sanctions over the case of imprisoned dissident Alexei Navalny, was expelled under an order with immediate effect, and served as head of the Russian Prison Service for two years.

And the Russian president appointed police colonel Arkady Gostev in his place.

The move comes after rights groups published dozens of videos of torture that were leaked from a prison in the central city of Saratov last month.

Former prison inmate Sergey Savelyev, who has Belarusian citizenship, smuggled the videos before fleeing Russia to France, where he sought asylum.

Earlier this month, the Russian Prison Service announced the dismissal of 18 officials in the Saratov region over the video recordings, in addition to opening several investigations.

The Kremlin has previously called for an investigation into the case.

Moscow had put Savelyev on its wanted list last month, but later removed his name.

During his imprisonment, Savelyev worked as a maintenance officer for computers and gained access to the prison's internal server and other prison servers, where he found surveillance footage showing abuse.

And saving the footage to a USB stowed it near the exit door.

And published the organization «Gulago.net» tapes of abuse.

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