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The Russian Horror.

FLOGGING OF WOMEN: SUICIDE

OF THE VICTIMS.

Brief and as yet, incomplete information has just reached some of the Russian refugees in Paris concerning another and horrible tragedy which has occurred in the far east of Siberia. Some time ago Madame Nadyda Sihida, a lady teacher in the High Schools, was condemned to penal servitude. It was found that some copies of the Narodnaia Volia, the Russian revolutionary organ, had been published in her house. This lady, a refined and highly-educated woman, was detained in the Kara'prison, whither of late many political prisoners.sentenced to. hard labour have' been sent. It appears that last November Madame Sihida was provoked by the Director of the Kara prison. There is no information given as to the nature of this provocation, but it was evidently very serious, since, and in spite of the grave consequences likely to ensue, Madame Sihida retorted by slapping the director, on the face. Infuriated by this affront, the director ordered the unfortunate woman to. be stripped and flogged. Such infamies were riot perpetrated on ladies, of rank and position even in, th& time, of the Emperor l^ichojos. The humiliation of this barbarous form of punishment so afflicted Madame Sihida that, in her distress and her fear of other tortures the future might hold in store, she poisoned herself. What can have happened is as yet a mystery; but evidently the women political prisoners, particularly those who b^ their position and education are especially susceptible to anything that could compromise their honor and sense of self-respect, thought they- were no longer safe from the, insults, of the authorities. No sooner had Madame, Sihida killed herself than hep friend and fellow-prisoner, Madame Maria Kovalevskaia, "wife, of Professor Kovalevskaia, also poispned herself. Persistent rumors add that other women destroyed themselves after the flogging of their companion, but of this'there is as yet no certain evidence.

A few miles from the women s prison at Kara there is the men's political prison, and the inmates of these two prisons have contrived to establish secret bn,t constant communication. It is supposed that when the men heard of the, flogging of Madame Sihida, an,d her su.bseque.n.t suicide sonic sort of[ commotion took place., o,ls tljis, of cours,©, was likely to be followed by yiolen.t and brutal repression, lii any case the procurator, whose functions are somewhat similar to those of an. English sheriff, the colonel of the, genX darmes, and the' surgeon of QJkutfT were summoned in hot haste to, $ja,ra". At firsts th,e governor of the p^avince, residing at Chita, did nojb ssein tp realise the full importance of what" had happened and refused to disturb himself. ..Two. dajp& later, however, he suddenly! \^ Chita, and proceeded in great/ tyvfcfce. £6' Kara. From all this it hvJejprJßd that something very" nave 'happened. Full d;eCaiis rare, anxiously expected; and'j if the secret means of communication, with, the outer world established by the exijjes are not discovered these w^ll reach; us shortly. The following is. a translation from, the Russian of one of the letters thaft has just come to hand, and. it.bjiefl^ substantiates the a^Qvci i^ormation. Tlje \tsWt h date^ l)^cembex' 28, 1889^ an^ scenes hastily,- writteja, as' if it had to .be s.udderJy "and promptly, despatched. It states :—" Every day the situation of" the exiles in Siberia become mpve and more difficult. To-day the position has simply becoqiQ au critical tlwt wq do uot know i

to-morroy we shall not bbinvolved in some affair which will result'ifcour dying at tho point of l;he bayonet. ;|jnt the month of November a horrible event occurred at Kara. Ido not yet know all the details; but the commencement is sufficient to enable uu. to guess the end. Madame Sihida, a political prisoner, boxed the ears of lihe Kara commandant. She was punished by flogging. Madame Sihida poisoned herself^ and < after her Madame Kovalevskaia killed herself.' These facts.are known officially; but i rumours circulate that several : other ! women among the political prisonersjiave also poisoned themselves.. The- colonel of the gendarmes, the procuratorjjMidithe doctor started for Kara. The governor at first said he would not go, but two days later, after the departure of. the above mentioned authorities, he .also suddenly I started for Kara. Wei s surmise after ,aJI this, that something terrible must have occurred.".. „t . . . .-.. :.. w , , \ mmmmmmmmmm—mmmmm.J . t ■

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18900408.2.13

Bibliographic details

The Russian Horror., Ashburton Guardian, Volume xii, Issue 2395, 8 April 1890

Word Count
724

The Russian Horror. Ashburton Guardian, Volume xii, Issue 2395, 8 April 1890

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