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European court's judgment on Russian pretrial centers fair, but in vain - lawyers

16:35 11/01/2012

MOSCOW, January 11 - RAPSI. The Strasbourg court's order obliging the Russian authorities to eliminate "inhuman and degrading" conditions at pretrial detention centers is fair, but it will not contribute to improving the current situation, renowned human rights advocates told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.com).

The court ordered Russia to develop measures to reduce the arrests of prosecuted individuals and to more effectively hear complaints about their treatment. The court also called upon Russia to improve the confinement conditions at pretrial detention centers in the country.

Human rights advocates told RAPSI that the authorities are likely to prefer paying compensation based on the court's judgments than modifying the penitentiary system since the latter will necessitate huge investments and will take decades.

Lawyer Aleksei Demin said he is doubtful that Russia will obey the Strasbourg court's order.

"Prison staff has lots of room to exert pressure on prisoners at pretrial detention centers. Penitentiary personnel treat differently those who agree to cooperate with them and those who don't. Such an approach is impossible in European countries," Demin said, adding that the problem cannot be solved in the blink of an eye and "nothing will change soon."

Meanwhile, lawyer Aleksei Melnikov noted the clear fairness of the court's judgment.

"When people sleep in three shifts and sick prisoners stay in the same ward with healthy ones, this is true torture. To fulfill the court's order, Russia will have to spend huge financial resources. Meanwhile, modifications will take decades," Melnikov said. "However, the major obstacle toward reform is the unwillingness of the authorities to change the system," he added.

The pilot resolution was adopted after considering the appeals of Sergei Ananyev, Gennady Bashirov and Gyulnara Bashirova, who were held in different detention centers from 2005 to 2008.

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European court's judgment on Russian pretrial centers fair, but in vain - lawyers

16:35 11/01/2012 The Strasbourg court's order obliging the Russian authorities to eliminate "inhuman and degrading" conditions at pretrial detention centers is fair, but it will not contribute to improving the current situation.
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