Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson
#32 - JRL 2008-33 - JRL Home
Penitentiary Head Disagrees With Ombudsman's Report On Prisons

MOSCOW. Feb 14 (Interfax) - Federal Penitentiary Service Director Yury Kalinin said he disagrees with Russian Human Rights Commissioner Vladimir Lukin's assessment of the situation in the Russian prisons, which Lukin set forth in his annual report on Wednesday.

"Many judgments laid down in the report are apparently biased. Let the claim that conditions in Russian penitentiary centers are comparable with torture be on the conscience of those who were preparing this report," Kalinin told Interfax on Thursday.

"Various international organizations, including the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, have noted on many occasions that progress has been made in the Russian penitentiary system," he said.

"What tortures can one talk about, when the system is under strong control of the public and oversight agencies, including the prosecutor's office?" Kalinin said.

"No, we do not deny that individual violations occur. But each one is investigated and appropriate measures are taken," he said.

Kalinin also disagreed with Lukin's assessment of medical services in the penitentiary system. "Experts, including international ones, have noted serious improvement in this sphere," Kalinin said.