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Moscow inmates riot against abuse, officials deny beatings

MOSCOW, April 2 (RIA Novosti) - Inmates at central Moscow's Butyrka detention center staged a riot on Wednesday against alleged beatings by prison staff, but the Federal Penitentiary Service denied the accusations.

Whistling and shouts of detainees could be heard, as well as the clash of metal dishes, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported from outside the building. A police source said the riot broke out after jail officers administered severe beatings to several inmates.

Penitentiary Service chief Yury Kalinin said prison staff had recently conducted a routine search of the cells. "Probably, someone started a rumor about alleged murders and violence against the detainees during the operation," he said. 

"It is true that inmates in some cells were creating a din and protesting, but now everything in the prison is calm," Kalinin said, adding that prosecutors found no evidence to support the abuse rumors.

Russia has seen several similar incidents in jails recently. In February, a group of teenagers were hospitalized with multiple stab wounds after an apparent suicide attempt at a juvenile correctional facility near St. Petersburg.

In October 2007, three people were killed and over a dozen wounded in Kirovgrad in the Sverdlovsk Region, following a riot in a juvenile detention center.

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