Anti-Hero of Our Time

posted 5 Oct 2011, 07:32 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 5 Oct 2011, 07:33 ]
Vera Vasilieva, 04/10/11 


· Human Rights Education · Yukos Affair · Prisoners · Moscow City & Moscow Region 

Vasily Aleksanyan was killed by the system. This system is not one of law enforcement or of correction, it is punitive. In many respects it inherits the features of the Stalinist GULAG. Russia twice ignored the instructions of the European Court of Human Rights to release the Yukos vice-president from pre-trial detention. Even in hospital, Aleksanyan, terminally ill and half-blind, was chained to a bed. 

Moreover, in our criminal execution code there is a glaring absence. There is a list of illnesses that release an individual from the need to serve out their sentence in prison. The case of Vasily Aleksanyan fell within these rules: Aleksanyan suffered, among other things, from malignant cancer of the lymphatic and blood-forming tissues. However, this list has effect only for those convicted, and not for those in pre-trial detention. 

In other words, an innocent person (and before conviction by a court all are so considered), unlike someone who has been convicted, on the basis of this list cannot be released. 

As Natella Boltyanskaya, the author of many songs with a civic theme, has sung: “But the masters of killing and corruption and of other things of this kind have already been trained.” Watching today’s politically motivated trials on fabricated charges, I was regularly astonished how often the same individuals were involved in them – I mean investigators, prosecutors and judges. [Read more]