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Conditions of detention of Professor Mikhail Savva are cause for serious concern

1 October 2013

By Vadim Karastelev

Source: LiveJournal

On 1 October it was announced that the charges against Professor Mikhail Savva of Kuban State University have been approved by the Prosecutor’s Office of Krasnodar region.

There are far more questions in this spurious case than answers. But, for now, the conditions of his detention in the FSB pre-trial detention centre in Krasnodar is of major concern to human rights defenders. Mikhail is probably the only inmate there who has attracted international attention, and possibly because of this, repairs to the prison have been started which have caused problems for everybody, lawyers and their clients alike.

Complaints have been received from the lawyers and the relatives of the detainees that it is necessary to stand in a queue all day long with no guarantee that you will get to meet up because there is now only one room for visits in the whole prison.

Where then does our taxpayers’ money go, if the FSB is in such a mess? Yes, in the room for meetings there are high quality cameras which perfectly record sound and video. How, then, is it possible ensure the confidentiality of a meeting with a lawyer? Or perhaps it is the case that those who are being kept in this place no longer have any rights?

Today again the situation remains unchanged. "I’ve just phoned our lawyer. After two days, Friday and, today, Monday, he still cannot get to meet Mikhail in Pre-Trial Detention Centre No. 5. He stood queuing for hours and still didn’t get in," Elena Savva reported.

Mikhail Savva previously did not have any heart problems but in detention he has already had one heart attack, apparently caused by psychological stress, but in his case nobody has been able to make an exact diagnosis. Maybe they want a second Magnitsky?

I urge that representatives of international human rights organizations and journalists to urgently draw attention to this situation.

Comment by Elena Sava (wife of Mikhail): There is definitely some problem with his heart or with his central nervous system. The details are very sketchy. But the fact remains that four weeks ago he was prescribed a range of drugs that he had never taken before. I know that he developed some numbness in his arm. Some of his medications are of the kind supplied strictly by prescription only. The medications I provided were delayed by at least a week. It all took time: passing them on, deciding which ones were necessary, while the doctor was making up his mind whether to write a prescription, and while they passed that on to me.”

PS With thanks to the journalist Olga Romanova who supported my appeal!