a mass suicide of political prisoners in Russia at the Kara Penal Colony in 1889.
The political prisoners of this colony constantly opposed the arbitrariness of the prison administration. On Aug. 11, 1888, the prisoner E. N. Koval’skaia was transferred to the Chita prison for refusing to stand before the governor-general of the Amur Region, A. N. Korf. Her transfer was accompanied by a show of disrespect for her person. Learning of this, her peers M. P. Kovalevskaia, M. V. Kaliuzhnaia, and N. S. Smirnitskaia demanded that the officer responsible for the humiliation, prison commandant Masiukov, be discharged. When this was not done, they responded with lengthy hunger strikes in August 1888 and May and September 1889. But the administration refused to make concessions. Disturbances in the prison continued. For an attempt to slap Masiukov in the face, the prisoner N. K. Sigida was flogged on Nov. 7, 1889. The same night, as a protest, Sigida, Kovalevskaia, Kaliuzhnaia, and Smirnitskaia poisoned themselves; 14 men in the men’s political prison took poison on November 12 (two of these, I. V. Kaliuzhnyi and S. N. Bobo-khov, died). The Kara tragedy forced the tsarist government to close the Kara Penal Colony in 1890.