© 2020 :"Женщина. Тюрьма. Общество"
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That we're doing
Investigations, research and education
Our work is based on the real stories of people whose destinies are linked to prisons, police and migration centers. Our mission is do not speak for them, but to help convey their voice to the public.
Protecting the rights of vulnerable groups of prisoners
We pay considerable attention to women and children in the penal system. We also deal with LGBT+, migrants and other vulnerable groups. We consult prisoners, relatives, social workers, representatives of NGOs and the media.
Public campaigns and advocacy
We are sure that only public awareness of what is happening behind bars will help to humanize the penal system.
Pregnancy, childbirth and women with young children in prison
Repression and violence, the plight of the offended, love forbidden
Medicine in prison and women's destinies. Oncology, HIV, tuberculosis, COVID 19
A project about transgender people in Russian prisons
There are no statistics on the number of transgender people in the Russian prison system. Employees of the Federal Penitentiary Service treat these "invisible" prisoners as an additional problem. The topic remains extremely closed.

What do trans people face in prisons? They've told about it in their stories, as well as lawyers and experts. Is it possible to find a husband in the colony? How is life in the "offended" caste? And why can a rat be the only interlocutor in a cell?

The penal system obviously needs to transform the attitude towards trans people. Our project is about finding out solutions on this topic.

To go to the project, click on the image
The Zone.HIV
20% of women in Russian prisons live with a diagnosis of HIV. Our heroines sat in different years: in the nineties, when HIV was a sentence, and nowadays. Some of them live openly, others hide their status. Their stories, supplemented by statistics, documents and comments from experts, shed light on the situation of HIV people in the Russian penal system.

To go to the project, click on the image
Cancer patients
"The Last Hope" by Leonid Agafonov
(2019, English subs)
We present the full version of the documentary about cancer patients from Russian colonies. Main character, Nadezhda Bogdanova, did not live up to the premiere. She was the only one of Leonid Agafonov's wards who suffered from cancer, but waited for her release and had the opportunity to say goodbye to her family. She was one of many convicts who had gone through medical hell in prison. She died from lack of timely help. The work on the film is over, but the struggle for human lives continues.
Documentary film (Russia, 2019), author Leonid Agafonov
Prison. Court. Death
As part of this investigation, we talk about four prisoners who found themselves threatened by signs of cancer. Their stories formed the basis of a large investigation that the head of our group, Leonid Agafonov — who for many years was the head of the Public Monitoring Commission of the Central Internal Affairs Directorate of St. Petersburg and the leading expert of the joint project «New Generation» of the ombudsman of Russia and the Council of Europe's Directorate for the Protection of Human Rights — prepares for print.

As a rule, oncological diseases, which, according to statistics, place second in the negative «rating» of deaths in Russia, do not leave prisoners with any chance to live. Those arrested and convicted cannot fight the disease, as they lack the basics: timely diagnosis, necessary medication, and competent medical care. The project team tried to figure out why inhuman treatment of seriously ill patients became the norm in Russian detention centers and colonies.

To go to the project, click on the image
Women and children in prisons
Sign the petition for pregnant and women with young children
LGBT: Prisons and police
Read more about the situation of LGBT people in prisons and the "offended" caste in our series "Outcasts":

1. Outcasts (repressions against homosexuality in the USSR and Russia).
2. Outcasts-2 (sexual abuse in Russian prisons).
3. Outcasts-3 (gay porn with prisoners).
4. Outcasts-4 (how low-caste prisoners are trying to achieve justice).
5. How lesbians live in Russian prisons.
Help us
Go to the donation page for our project
History & stories
Stories, prisons of other countries
Project Team
  • Leonid Agafonov
    Human rights defender
    The author of the project
  • Tatiana Dorutina
    Human rights defender
    Project expert
  • Natalia Donskova
    Project journalist
  • Viktor Yukechev
    Project expert
  • Aleksei Sergeev
    Journalist, designer, activist
  • Natalia Sivokhina
    Journalist, editor
  • Yana Teplitskaya
    Project participant
    ex-member of public monitoring commission of St. Petersburg
  • Vitaly Cherkasov

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