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21 Deaths Recorded in Russian Police Custody Last Month

Twenty-one people died in Russian police custody last month, including two who had been subjected to police violence, Russian website MediaZona reported Wednesday.

Seven of the deaths were from suicide, and another seven were from cardiac arrest, according to official information cited in the report by MediaZona, a news site focusing on law enforcement, the legal system and prison system that was founded by members of the female protest group Pussy Riot.

Two deaths were "connected with police violence," the report said, while eight detainees died in a state of alcoholic intoxication.

One detainee died from an epileptic seizure, and another from tuberculosis. Another fatality was caused by drug withdrawal, one person died in a fire, and another fell out of a police vehicle while it was moving, the report said.

The ages of the deceased ranged from 20 years old to 61 years old, with the average being 40 years old.  

Police brutality against detainees hit the headlines in 2012 when a man died in Russia's republic of Tatarstan after being sodomized with a bottle by officers while in police custody.

Last week, two Moscow region police officers were detained on suspicion of using electric shocks to force a woman to confess to theft, investigators said in a statement.

The officers are accused of covering the woman's head with a plastic bag during an interrogation and administering at least 35 electric shocks to her, the Investigative Committee said, citing an examination of the victim.


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