Support The Moscow Times!

Justice Minister Says 233 Died in Detention Last Year

Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov told President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday that 233 people died in pretrial detention last year, down from 277 in 2008, Interfax reported.

Konovalov did not give a figure for 2010 but said the number of suspects taken into custody this year was down by almost 20 percent compared with 2009, mainly because of Medvedev's legislation banning pretrial detention for people linked to economic crimes.

Medvedev ordered the Justice Ministry on Wednesday to draft new legislation that would allow more people suspected of minor crimes to be spared arrests.

Shortcomings of the pretrial detention system came into the spotlight after Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky died in custody in Moscow in November, apparently from a lack of medical care.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.