Russian illegal prison on IZOLYATSIA premises has been operational for 10 years.

Human Rights Day 2023

In 2022, Human Rights Day was officially recognised in Ukraine. This international holiday has been traditionally celebrated on December 10 since 1948, marking the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN General Assembly. 

Due to the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation, issues related to the protection and guarantee of everyone’s inalienable rights to life and liberty remain unresolved. One of these issues raised by the IZOLYATSIA Foundation since 2014 is the existence of illegal Russian prisons

On June 9, 2014, representatives of the occupation administration of the Russian Federation in Donetsk seized the territory of the IZOLYATSIA Foundation in Donetsk, turning it into one of the most notorious illegal prisons today. Since then and until now, the world-famous cultural and educational space has been used to commit horrific crimes against humanity, torture, and the storage of weapons and military equipment. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights have confirmed the horrific testimonies of torture of hundreds of military and civilian prisoners who were and continue to be held in illegal prison.  

The number of such torture chambers, filtration camps and prisons is growing. The National Police provides data on 53 places of illegal detention and torture. It is known that almost 28,000 Ukrainian prisoners are currently being held in illegal detention facilities without official status. Such places exist in Russia, Belarus and the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. The UN counted a total of 31 facilities in Russia and Belarus and 125 similar places in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. The Media Initiative for Human Rights, in turn, has created a map of these places.

Torture is a routine practice in these places. Prisoners are subjected to torture, including electric shocks, mock executions, suffocation, and sexual violence. A June UN report said that 91% of prisoners reported “torture and ill-treatment”. The Russian government plans to create 25 new prisons and six other detention centres for Ukrainians in occupied Ukraine by 2026

IZOLYATSIA foundation, together with international partners and human rights organisations, calls on the international community to support Ukraine even more strongly during the Russian aggression and help stop the occupation of Ukrainian territories and human rights violations, as well as to increase pressure on the Russian Federation to release Ukrainian hostages and close all illegal prisons.

Please share this information on your social media pages to keep the issues that need to be addressed alive. You can download the English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Arabic slides here:

Thank you for the translation: Ilona Touchard, Olivier Le Gal, Vitaliy Chornoryz, Agnieszka Chornoryz, Giada Crispiels, Daria Stanchuk (Vitsche e.V.), and Vladyslav Rudnyk

More up-to-date information about the illegal prison “Izolyatsia”, including links to films and books, can be found on the IZOLYATSIA Must Speak website at