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Yekaterinburg Mayor Roizman Quits as Head of Drug Rehab Foundation

Yekaterinburg Mayor Yevgeny Roizman has quit as head of the anti-narcotics organization he co-founded in 1999.

Roizman, who is an outspoken critic of the Kremlin, said that he wrote to the City Without Drugs foundation in September to tell them about his intention to resign, citing his new mayoral duties and a desire to "avoid any quibbling," Interfax reported Friday.

Roizman, elected mayor in 2013 on a Civil Platform ticket, said he would continue to support City Without Drugs and would not seek to distance himself from its activities.

"I am the founder of the organization, I could never leave it … the fund will exist as long as I am alive," Roizman said.

City Without Drugs has come under pressure from human rights groups over its harsh rehabilitation methods, which include forcing heroin users — with relatives' permission — to go "cold turkey."

In 2012, a criminal case was opened into the death of a woman in one of its clinics, while deputy head Igor Shabalin was sentenced to 2 ½ years in jail in November for illegally detaining patients at one of the foundation's facilities.

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