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Is the release of seriously ill people from pre-trial detention being sabotaged?

Source: (info), 24/10/11 

· Human rights defenders  · Prisoners  · Moscow city & Moscow region 

Valery Borshchev, head of the Public Oversight Commission for Moscow has said that the order by President Medvedev to release those seriously ill from pre-trial detention is not in reality being carried out. 

“What is happening is open sabotage of the President’s order to free seriously ill people from pre-trial detention,” Valery Borshchev said, as reported by Interfax

Valery Borshchev said that altogether in Russia less than one third of seriously ill people are being released from pre-trial detention. “In the country as a whole only 30% are being released under this decree. Just four years ago this was 50%. The dynamic is obvious. There is a sharp reduction,” the human rights defender added. 

Valery Borshchev noted in particular that there are no official mortality statistics for people who are seriously ill and who have been denied release. “We asked whether in general the Federal Penitentiary Agency keeps any count of how many people die among those denied release. We learned that no records of this kind are kept. The number of these deaths is not being monitored at all,” the human rights defender concluded. 

As writes, the head of the Public Oversight Commission is certain that a special approach is necessary to protecting the health of detainees in pre-trial detention. “Conditions in pre-trial detention centres are worse than in penal colonies. There is less air, detainees have less exercise,” Valery Borshchev stressed.