Siberian Convict - Facial Branding

Siberian Convict - Facial Branding Russian Studies Censorship Ethics Crimes and Criminals

Prisoners who were sent to Siberian penal colonies, during Tsarist times, could be punished with facial branding (among other things).

We learn more about disfigurement, as a permanent condition, from the City of Omsk (where Dostoevsky served time):

Convicts wore the cloths with yellow ace on the back and foot-irons which weighted up to 4–5 kg.

A person was unchained only when [they] went at large or died. The prisoners of life stretch [people serving a life sentence] were put to the iron.

They were marked on their cheeks and forehead with the letters BOP (which means “the thief”) or KAT (abbreviation of the word “katorjnik,” which means “convict”).

All of these things were only part of the miseries these convicts endured.

Some of the Siberian convicts were actually convicted criminals, who had done bad things. Others, however, were political prisoners whose main "crime" was disagreeing with the "powers that be."

This image depicts a branded "convict."

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5183stories and lessons created

Original Release: May 08, 2014

Updated Last Revision: Nov 28, 2016

Media Credits

Image, copyright, City of Omsk.  Provided here as fair use for educational purposes.


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"Siberian Convict - Facial Branding" AwesomeStories.com. May 08, 2014. Aug 21, 2019.
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