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Penitentiary medicine must be subordinated to Health Ministry - rights activists' report

July 6, 2011

MOSCOW. July 6 (Interfax) - The Presidential Human Rights Council has proposed that medical services provided to inmates of detention centers should not remain under the exclusive control of the Federal Penitentiary Service, says the Council's interim report on an inquiry into Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky's death at a detention facility.

"The facts listed confirm the need to organize independent and competent medical services for inmates of penitentiary facilities. Such services cannot be exclusively controlled by the Federal Penitentiary Service and must also be subordinated to the Health Ministry," it says.

"It is necessary to create a mechanism of independent medical examinations of the inmates' condition on the basis of proposals provided by the Office of the Moscow Human Rights Commissioner, jointly with the City Public Supervisory Commission," the report says.

Since the investigation into the Magnitsky case began, the Moscow Public Supervisory Commission and government agencies have taken certain measures, including in relation to citizens, held in custody on economic charges, drawing up a list of diseases which rule out the suspects' arrest. But the problem of investigators' unlawful and unfounded interference in deciding in what conditions inmates should be held and what medical aid should be provided to them, remains unsettled. After Magnitsky's death, investigators put similar pressure on doctors and personnel of the Matrosskaya Tishina detention center in the case of Vera Trifonova, who died on April 30, 2010, while being held in custody. The practice of holding seriously ill and even dying people in custody continues to this day," the report says.

See also:

Inquiry: Magnitsky Beaten by Guards. The Moscow Times, July 6, 2011

Valery Borschyov: Sergei Magnitsky died because he was severely beaten. Press Release, July 5, 2011

Human Rights


July 6, 2011

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