Posts Tagged ‘lancet’

November 2010

Crime and unjust punishment in Russia

The Lancet
Tom Parfitt

A year after the controversial death in a Moscow detention centre of Sergei Magnitsky—a 37-year-old lawyer who was denied vital medical treatment—Russia is promising an overhaul of its antiquated prison system. But will the reforms bring real change to health-care provision?

It was 1830 h on November 16, 2009, when Sergei Magnitsky was transferred to the Matrosskaya Tishina detention centre in Moscow. The 37-year-old lawyer had been healthy when he was arrested a year earlier on fraud charges that colleagues said were trumped-up in revenge for his work for Hermitage, an international investment fund that passed evidence about corrupt officials to Russian media. Yet within 4 hours of arriving at Matrosskaya Tishina (Sailors’ Rest), Magnitsky was dead.

In the past year the Magnitsky Affair, as it is known in Russia, has become emblematic of the country’s woeful human rights record and its—sometimes wilful—neglect of the sick in prison. 6 weeks after Magnitsky was found lifeless in his cell, the public oversight commission (ONK) for Moscow’s pretrial detention centres published a scathing report describing the events that led up to his death.

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