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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Shakeup At Justice Ministry

President Dmitry Medvedev promoted Yury Kalinin, head of the Federal Prison Service, to deputy justice minister and appointed the Samara region’s top cop, Alexander Reimer, to the prison post, the Kremlin said Tuesday.

The shakeup in the Justice Ministry, headed by Medvedev’s close ally Alexander Konovalov, was preceded by the appointment of 32-year-old Yury Lyubimov as another deputy minister.

Political analysts had expected that Kalinin would be replaced from the job, which he has held since 1992, as Medvedev seeks to fill posts with allies.

Reimer may have been tapped by Konovalov, who had been the presidential envoy to the Volga Federal District, which includes the Samara region. Reimer will oversee new Justice Ministry initiatives related to prisons.

Underscoring the problems facing the system, human rights activist Lev Ponomaryov said Tuesday that hardened criminals were being used to torture inmates to extract confessions.

“There are about a dozen of these concentration camps … in which groups of the toughest criminals, people who are serving time for pedophilia, for rape and other crimes, get official permission to torture, to rape and sometimes even to kill,” Ponomaryov said, The Associated Press reported.

A spokesman for the prisons service denied the allegation, the AP reported.