President Dmitry Medvedev was presented with a new report by his rights council yesterday regarding the death of Sergei Magnitsky. The council insists that the lawyer died not due to a lack of medical care, as is now the official line, but from a brutal prison beating, and included in their report evidence of the lawyer’s injuries, including broken knuckles and a black arm. Medvedev granted that Magnitsky’s is a ‘sad case
‘, but expressed what sounds like frustration on being repeatedly pressed to recognize Russia’s most infamous and egregious failings of its citizens. Quoted in the Washington Post
‘Sometimes I have a feeling that there are only two problems that must worry those who are dealing with human rights, prosecutors and, finally, the president — these are the Magnitsky case and the Khodorkovsky case.‘
If Medvedev is tired of fighting his human rights proponents, perhaps he should give them a little more rope. Although really, this response – from the man considered to be the most liberal of his entire government – more or less adds a flourish to the ongoing stalemate.