A letter has been received by Ivan Smirnoff from a Russian exile now in London, the Countess Nargaiknow, which gives some painful revelations of the condition of exiles in Siberia. The exiles to Siberia in 1886 numbered 16,840 Nihilists or their reported supporters. In 1887 there were added 14,277 more ; in 1888 the number was 15,015, and in 1889 the exiles were 12,000. Of the number exiled the deaths range from 180 to 220 per 1000 due to natural sickness, cold, exposure, and knout punishment. The suicides average 20 to the 1000. During the month of August, 1889, in one of the central political prisons, 275 of the 490 prisoners were prostrated with fever. The average of those flogged with the knout is ten out of every' 100 persons. Instances of cruelty in various prisons are quoted, in which prisoners' feet were frozen in their cells, and they were •sent out to wash clothes when the thermometer was 25 degrees below zero. Commander Maselnoff is also charged with calling men before him in irons and striking them in the face while they were helpless. Despite the facts, it is noted that the Russian papers continue to represent that the life of the exiles in Siberia is a pleasant one.
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Siberian Exiles., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2435, 21 May 1890
Siberian Exiles. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2435, 21 May 1890
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