Prisoners for sale
Кто и как вовлекает заключенных в порно-индустрию
Who and how sell gay porn with prisoners?

Which prisoners are involved in the porn industry, and how?
The caste system of men's prisons, which has been in place for years - along with readily available technology, have created a new form of illegal business based on the humiliation of, and violence against prisoners.
In cells of Russian prisons porn-video traffic begins.
Cellmates have sex with "offended" inmates (prisoners who have receptive anal sex and are at the lowest level of the prison hierarchy) and film it on their mobile phones. Then the lewd video is sold through social networks. None of the videos found have show the prisoner consenting to sex or filming.

Our investigation is dedicated to the commodification of violence in prisons. Where it comes from, how such content is distributed, and who the victims of exploitation are.

In 2014, according to official reports, staff of the Federal Service for the Execution of Punishments (FSIN) seized 47,500 thousand pieces of communication equipment; in 2013 this figure was 42,000. That is, almost one in ten prisoners can be provided with communication equipment, just with this seized equipment.
Leonid Agafonov
Prison expert,
The creator of the project "Woman. Prison. Society"
The closed nature and, deep-rooted caste system have remained unchanged for years with in the Russian penal system because of the system's political immunity. These are the main causes of the unpunished rape of prisoners and the making of pornography.

It should be noted that communication equipment is prohibited in FSIN institutions, so why do prisoners still have the opportunity to use cell phones?

The first reason is that staff does not perform properly their duties in seizing prohibited items including cell phones.

The second reason is that staff of FSIN know who has phones but remain tolerant to them as they are prisoners who cooperate with the administration. The problem is that phones are used to shoot (perhaps in FSIN institutions) and then also to leak or sell this content.

Staff are likely involved in this process, no matter how, they may not sell the content but , for example, bring cell phones for fee.

"And then a porn dealer wrote me…"
Who sells gay porn with prisoners and to whom?
Vitaly Bespalov, Editor-in-chief of web portal "Guys Plus" tells us how he encountered dealer of intimate video from prisons in the social network Vkontakte.
This story was the beginning of data collection on how and who makes proposal to sell porn content from male prisons of Russia.
«One day I got a friend request from a man named Adam Adamov; it was in August of 2018. I added him because I thought that maybe he needs some support. He asked: «How's it going?» I answered: «I'm fine, thank you.» then he wrote right away: «We're speaking to you from all the brothers...»

I thought he was just sending the same message to everyone. But then I started to think that he could be a person who had served time earlier, or someone who is in prison right now. He was writing me in the evening, 6 p.m., 1 a.m, 7 a.m.»
Vyacheslav Kuklyushin
«Dear…we're talking to you from all the brothers… don't take it amiss… we're in jail…we're in dire need... show compassion... send some change to a phone number... your support will not be left without our attention... we'll get you our intimate prison video - a pedophile's insult, anal with passive during long visit and a jerk-off with sperm... we can also introduce you to a partner for an intimate meetings...
People in prisons have access to the Internet, they can make videos, selling or posting it online. At what time prisoners can write? Usually they go online after administration's day end: in the evening, at night or in the early morning. You can identify if a person is actually serving a time by speech: for example, he or she speaks in slang and knows prison terms. Nowadays, there is almost no prison lingo, but some kind of prison slang still exists.

- Leonid Agafonov, the author of the project "Woman. Prison. Society"
Vitaly Bespalov, Editor-in-chief of web portal "Guys Plus":
"I couldn't even think that something like that exists, that someone is offering to buy pornography, in the age when everything already is on the Internet. I got interested and I decided to play along and said: «Ok, well, how much money?»

He said that every penny will come in handy...

I thought there was some price list, but they were ready to take any money. I had sent 200 rubles to his mobile account, and he immediately sent me a bunch of porn videos and photos. Well, I was like: «Thank you».
The money withdrawal number is registered in the Samara region, and in addition to the announcement of the sale of prison content, it appears in several real estate advertisements.
It is possible that the person who generates/sends these advertisements does have experience of imprisonment or is currently in prison or remand centre. The photos were taken in the pen (penal colony), but most likely they have nothing to do with the seller.

- Leonid Agafonov, the author of the project "Woman. Prison. Society"
Project "Woman.Prison.Society" is a volunteer human rights initiative. We look forward to your support
«Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V.»
Vitaly Bespalov, Editor-in-chief of web portal "Guys Plus": "Then this man wrote me several more times (the last few messages on July 13-14, 2019). At first I ignored his messages, and then I just banned him. I had received messages from other profiles. And all of those profiles had the same photos, and they sent me the same messages.

It seems to me that I had been added to some database of people who were buying such content, because they one by one started to message me: «Dear, please, from all the brothers, spare some change, for cigarettes, we'd be so thankful...». But I had no desire to wire any money.

Then I realized that this was a mass phenomenon - when I went to the profile of one person, I saw in the comments under the post exactly the same message that I received myself earlier. That was word for word the message they sent me, like "copy-paste.". Users were angry about behaviour of the prison content dealer.

In general, while I was talking to this person, I got a feeling that he was working with "scripts,", that is, when I was asking him something, he answered me with a pre-written message. I think it's a salesman who is working with multiple tabs. That is, the same faces, similar pictures, similar messages...

Probably, the prison homosexual porn is also a fetish, a preference like BDSM, for example, and when there is interest, there are those who want to earn money from it».
In general, while I was talking to this person, I got a feeling that he was working with "scripts,", that is, when I was asking him something, he answered me with a pre-written message. I think it's a salesman who is working with multiple tabs. That is, the same faces, similar pictures, similar messages...

Probably, the prison homosexual porn is also a fetish, a preference like BDSM, for example, and when there is interest, there are those who want to earn money from it.

"The fact that they communicate in scripts is a sign of a professional approach, a sign of a proven technology and process optimization in order to reduce time per customer. And, as a result, to sell as much as possible and get more money. Why do they have to think about dialogue every time if they can use ready samples?

Initially, we were not sure that videos which were sent to Vitaly were actually filmed in prisons. But after we heard his the story, we assumed that real porn shot in closed institutions is sold through social networks, and that phenomenon could be systemic. Such violations are fully integrated into the overall picture of the Russian penal system with its caste and closed nature.
- Leonid Agafonov, the author of the project "Woman. Prison. Society"
Kir Fyodorov
Wherever people find themselves: in the army, in the monastery - sexual drive is there. Social and sexual processes are intersecting there and expressed in certain ways. To start to work with this problem, it must first be recognized. It is the same at the level of а person who does not recognize his phobias, fears and traumas. And we are not going to get anywhere until the person admits. The same with the state. Until the state says: "Yes, there are problems with it and let's do something about it," nothing will change.

All the processes in the penal colony are acute. If a person is not respected as a person in society, and his life and health are not valued, then nothing better could be expected from prisons. We think that this is terrible. But look at how our hospitals treat pensioners, children and mothers. Or when a woman who is a victim of domestic violence comes to the police and they tell her: "Come when you will be killed." It's not even exaggerations, these are real answers.

Disrespect for man and his rights in penal institutions just takes a concentrated form. There is nothing there that would not be widespread in our society. Women, children and men in Russia face sexual violence outside of prison as well.
«Video. Real. Prison»
How and where gay porn with prisoners is sold?
How and where gay porn with prisoners is sold? Such advertisements can be sent with private messages or posted in comments sections. In the social network Vkontakte, we have found groups for adults specialized on prison topic: users post advertisements about wanting to sell or buy gay porn with prisoners.

The number of ads from those who want to buy such content is much smaller than the number of posts from sellers. On the one hand this is due to the fact that sellers are very active, and one person can post multiple ads from one page or from different profiles. On the other hand, buyers of such content are not ready to declare their preferences in public spaces.

Using only manual searches we have found more than 40 ads for the sale of prison pornography. Here are three examples of the most typical of them:
Everyone who likes #PRISON THEME# I can offer a small archive of material on the topic, not staging and not yet online, real video from the places of detention, I'M IN PLACES OF DETENTION NOW, I can offer a number of services:


For any information, contact me in personal, all is real, ready to confirm the reality as my own and everything else.
We choose one of these ads, and wrote to "Alexander Nemov" profile on June 28, 2019 with a request to send examples of video... The seller provided videos, including videos shot in places of detention, as well as account number to which we should send money to receive more videos.

500rub 30videos

So expensive?

It always was

200 everywhere

For 200 I'll only give a half

okay, where I can send money?

to the phone number if it's ok

yeah, I'll send it through the Kiwi
"Hello, I should tell you that photos are mine, but they are (from) 2011, I am in imprisonment now, if you will be interested in something, I will tell you with pleasure about everything, I will show you on a photo or on a video call, I will call you myself and confirm it if it is necessary, I have about 30 real videos from prison, there is also with me, I am an active, so all of it is real, and also I can provide a number of services, I collect money for packages and for sports nutrition, do you wanna help me?????, then I will provide you number of entertainment, photo video and communication.»
Access to the group «#PETUKHI (cocks) #PENAL COLONY # SIZO (remand centre) #PRISON #REAL PHOTO AND VI…» costs 150 rubles per month and 400 for single visit. Not so many people wish to pay for now - just 7 users. It is possible that some of the content in this community is actually made in places of detention, but we could not verify it - without receiving money immediately, the administrator blocked our messages and promised to ban us in the group.


*****************************going to join?
can I make sure that you really do have videos in the group: for example,

Distribution patterns
As a rule, prison porn is sold through social media. For this purpose, they either used closed groups with paid access or personal messages where porn content is sent after payment.
The Way#1: closed community
The Way#2: private messanges
There could be other paths as well. For example, staff member can confiscate a smartphone with a banned video, share it with friends or colleagues, or upload it online. That way, the video becomes available in private or public settings. A mobile phone accounts or e-wallets (Yandex, Qiwi, etc.) are usually used to receive money.
The prison videos details
But was porn really made in prison?
It is highly probable that of the seven uploaded videos, all seven were made in places of detention. Moreover, these records do not show the consent of the prisoner who is being used (in a passive role) for sex and filming.

All the videos are quite short, from 30 seconds to 5 minutes 16 seconds, bad quality videos. They are marked with "33", "48", "16", "24", "39" and "30". Two videos are at the processing stage. We couldn't find out when and where they were made, from that page they have been distributed since August 2018 or earlier.
All the videos aren't staged, real-life footage of rape, 'chmor' (insult) and humiliation...
- From the announcement of the prison porn sale.
You can tell from details that the videos, most likely, show prisoners and they were filmed in penal colony: haircuts, tattoos (if clarity of images could be improved then we could tell by tattoos on the fingers, 'rings', which colony the prisoner was serving his sentence in), clothing (uniforms), including tags. You can see mechanical watches on the prisoners' hands because electronic watches are forbidden.

Locations of shooting are also correspond to the realities: bunk beds, bags, boxer shorts hung up to dry (nobody wears underwear in the colonies).

Very important point: all the videos show unprotected sex, without condoms. In previous investigations, we have talked about the prohibition of condoms, as sexual contact is a violation of the regime in prisons.
On one of the videos, a person who is filming, walks into a common shower room, where the "offended" person is showering, and the 'offended' prisoner immediately frees his place, because the "man" (the "man" caste includes ordinary prisoners) cannot wash next to the "offended". The "offended" person is slapped, he does not understand that he is being filmed, and nobody is going to ask his permission: he is being used and the whole process is being filmed. The video consists of three parts, it's total duration is about 20 minutes.

The other video shows that the prisoner tries not even touch the "offended" with hands during sex. An «offended» person, according to tacit notions, has no right to touch him either.
«Thieves corralled and took pictures»
Who is the victim of prison porn industry?
I. served his sentence in the penal colony for about 5 years in the status of "offended", he was openly gay, and because of that he got into the lowest caste. He told us how he appeared on intimate photos and even shared humiliating and explicit pictures taken in prison.
Where is that?
Here, in prison. Blatnie petukhi (thief roosters) corralled me and took pictures
And where those photos went?
Posted online
Who took your pictures?
I don't remember who... This is also me...So, they are writing in the groups, *** (Name) told me to film and take a picture, I had to write to him and then photos spread around the groups (I'm not allowed to join the group either.

Our hero was afraid to tell us who took the pictures and how they got on the Internet. The photos could be seen not only in personal messages - intimate photos of I. quickly spread around specialized groups about places of detention. Some of them could only be seen after paying for access to the group where the photos were posted. One of the photos was even branded with an inscription with the address of the group where you can see the photo and similar content.

Common phenomenon

In our investigation, we have worked with 12 profiles and communities through which prison porn content is distributed. We calculated the cost, scope and quantity of alleged prison content (ads for buying and selling, videos, photos). For example, one of the groups contains 27 videos, presumably all of them are made in the MLS (places of detention), and they can be watched without any payment. It is possible that these videos could be reloaded and sold.

The nature of the advertisements and technology of selling suggest that the production of prison pornography is a common practice in places of detention.

Our conclusions are based just on web browsing, without using any special technologies. The team of the project "Woman. Prison. Society" plans to expand the analysis using machine learning.
The table with the list of advertisements, prices and number of subscribers is accessible by this link.

"Legalized and sold torture"
What do the experts say?
Alexei Sergeev
Coordinator of the «Heterosexual and LGBT Alliance for Equality»
But "in the pen", if you are at the bottom of the prison hierarchy, in the category of "offended" (as a rule, open gays, bisexuals, transgender people fall into that category automatically), then you have virtually no choice. Compulsion to sex is not a criminal offence there, but a common thing, a daily reality. We see in the prison porn videos wherein a person in the receiving role is almost always perceived as an object and not as a subject of a relationship.

It's enough to look at the titles of the videos on the screenshots: "Working hole", "Holey mouth", "Caucasian petukh (rooster, faggot)", "Prag", "Petukh Fedya serves", "F#@ a rooster in the shower room", "Petukh is working", "Fucking petukh", "Petukh in the warehouse", "Fucked petukh right on the bunk". He is not even a person anymore; he's either a receiving part "hole", "mouth", or something despicable: "rooster", "prag", etc., at best "service staff". It becomes clear why in any video we don't see that a person is asked to consent to filming and posting explicit materials on the Internet.

Rather we see that sometimes the "offended" themselves accept the status quo, and then we can talk about a kind of "Stockholm syndrome". For example, "I'm a slutty faggot and I like it" - the name of one of the photo albums in the "Prison roosters" community.

In addition to the purely sexual aspect, the attitude of power - subordination, self-affirmation of an active partner at the expense of humiliation of the passive is also obvious. If we go beyond the prison system, we can see that this discourse is quite often used in Russian life. "Let's bend America", "Let them suck", "We can repeat" (the picture where a man with a head in the form of a star "bends" a man with a head in the form of a swastika), etc. It is clear that this attitude is in many ways transferred to LGBT people, generating aggression against them, and even hate crimes.

Leonid Agafonov
Prison expert, the author of the project "Woman. Prison. Society"
In other investigations we have already said that the whole complex of problems, of human rights violations is tied to the peculiarities of the Russian penal correction system, which were inherited from the Gulag.

Therefore, we can assume that such videos can appear in any country that was a part of the Soviet Union, except the Baltic States, which have a different system in place for a long time now. In European countries, the prison population is much smaller; there is a completely different approach, other number of institutions and staff.

If a prisoner does not have sex voluntarily, it is not just a human rights violation, but a crime that should be investigated, and the perpetrators should be punished.

The "offended" person is forced to have sex and participate in porn videos, and then the content will be posted and sold for money. If we are talking about systematic sexual violence, it is torture, which is filmed and sold, and for which the sellers of this content receive money. Moreover, this content is not necessarily sold by those who shot it; they can share it to boast, to show off their privileged position in the pen.

What's to be done? The penitentiary system will not change by itself, it suits everyone: the prosecutor's office, the police, the judicial system, the investigation committee, the Federal Prison Service, everyone, even the prisoners themselves. There are "offended" people in this system who can be used in the most dirty work, raped, filmed...

The team of the human rights project "Woman. Prison. Society" is convinced that this problem is not specific to LGBT persons in prisons. However, men who have relationships with same sex partners on the outside have to "sukharit'sya" (hide these relations) in places of detention. In case if their homo or bi-sexuality is revealed, they are more vulnerable than other prisoners.

The chance that LGBT persons will fall into the caste of the "offended" in case if their identity is revealed is almost 100 percent.

We've already said that using the threat of getting in the caste is a convenient method of intimidation. Only a threat of being put in a so-called "rooster" (a cell where prisoners with reduced social status are held, "offended") could be enough to force a person to make a confession.

In general the problem of LGBT persons and "offended" people in the penal system is not much discussed. The topic of this group of prisoners' involvement in the porn industry seems to be blatant, but nobody is interested in it, nobody wants to bring it up. It is very important to acknowledge the problem, not to turn away from it. Then maybe the situation will move past this dead end.

People should understand that when a person is isolated from the society it is already a punishment, and he should not be subjected to additional torture: he should not be beaten, raped, killed, maimed, or denied medical care. Moreover, the mechanism of the caste system cannot be used as a tool to exert pressure on people in order to move up the ranks, to up your clearance rate, etc. This is a huge number of indicators, behind each of which is a person who is exposed to violence or the threat of violence.

If you want to help our team in combating violence, coercion and discrimination in the police, prisons and penal colonies, share this material and support us with donations.
Authors: Leonid Agafonov, Natalia Donskova
Team: design, text expertise, design: Alexey Sergeev, illustration: Maria Svyatnykh, support in social networks: Natalia Sivokhina, expertise: Alexey Sergeev, Lidia Simakova
Norwegian Helsinki Committee,Russian LGBT Network, Human Rights Network Tak-Tak-Tak, Front Line Defenders, Ernest Mezak (Public Verdict), Web Portal Guys PLUS, Prague Civic Center, Alliance of Heterosexuals and LGBT Persons for Equality, Public Verdict, Shelter City Tbilisi
Friends: Tatiana Dorutina, Tatiana Vinnichenko; employees of the program "Shelter City Tbilisi" Sali Mezurnishvili, Svitlana Valko
Thanks for adaptation of English-language to Dante Matero, University of California, Los Angeles

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