Official Fired Over Prison Death

Reports in from Ria-Novosti state that one official has been dismissed over the death in prison of real estate agent Vera Trifonova, who died of kidney failure whilst held on fraud charges.  Trifonova died in the same jail where Hermitage lawyer Sergei Magnitsky also spent his last days in agony, having been denied the correct medial treatment for pancreatitis.  An article in the Other Russia notes the chilling similarities, with the implication being that this prison uses wilfull neglect as an economical way of torturing their prisoners:

Trifonova’s lawyer, Vladimir Zherebenkov, told the rights organization Justice that his client was refused proper medical care to such an extent as to constitute an intent towards her “physical destruction.”

According to a press release from the organization, medics had diagnosed the businesswoman with severe diabetes and had determined that she had only one working kidney.

Zherebenkov explained that Trifonova’s health began to sharply declined when she was arrested in December 2009 and placed in Matrosskaya Tishina. When she complained that her lungs were filling with liquid, she was brushed off and told to “sleep standing up.” After demands by her lawyer, Trifonova was eventually moved to a Moscow city hospital, where she immediately recovered. Doctors at the hospital confirmed that Trifonova required specialized treatment that included regular cleansings of her blood – a procedure not possible at the detention facility.

At that point, says the lawyer, Investigator Sergei Pysin told Trifonova that she would get different accommodations if she plead guilty to the fraud she was charged with. The woman refused, and despite doctors’ orders that Trifonova not leave the hospital even for investigative proceedings, Pysin brought her back to Matrosskaya Tishina.

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