[Below is an exclusive translation of a press statement from the former general counsel and vice president of Yukos, Vasily Alexanyan, who has been unlawfully imprisoned in Russia since 2006. The statement, distributed by All-Russia Public Movement «For human rights», describes the cruel and outrageous circumstances by which the Russian procuracy have illegally denied this prisoner access to urgent chemotherapy treatments and other medical care to save his life. For many years, I’ve argued that the true criminals in the Yukos case were those individuals seeking to dress up these show trials in the minimal trappings of counterfeit legality, and here with their treatment of Mr. Alexanyan, who is literally on the brink of death without proper medical care, we see that the procuracy is not above getting involved in manslaughter if not murder. Not once or twice, but three times the Russian Federation has ignored an exceptionally clear directive from the European Court of Human Rights to provide proper medical care to Mr. Alexanyan. Against all known international norms, law, and due process, the Russian procuracy has flaunted rule of law repeatedly in this case, and I urge you to refer anyone who defends the legitimacy or minimal adequacy of Russia’s justice system to this statement. – Robert Amsterdam]
“The authorities of the Russian Federation have truly brought me to the brink of the grave by their actions”
Statement for the press and the human rights community from Vasily Georgievich Alexanyan, being held at FGU IZ-77/1 of the UFSIN of Russia for the city of Moscow
On 27 December 2007, the Russian Federation is required to carry out what are already the third Interim Measures of the European Court of Human Rights indicating that I be immediately transferred from the prison where I am now being held to a specialised civilian clinic for hospitalization.
The previous two analogous Interim Measures, dated 27 November 2007 and 06 December 2007, were completely ignored by the authorities of the RF.For 21 months already, I have been held in so-called “preliminary” detention on fabricated charges as one of the managers of NK Yukos.I was compelled to apply to the European Court of Human Rights literally in order to save my life, because the authorities of the Russian Federation have truly brought me to the brink of the grave by their actions.More than a year ago, a forensic medical examination revealed that I was suffering from a fatal illness.
Even then, my condition required that an intense chemotherapy be started in order to sustain life and prolong it. The examination report put the possibility of keeping me in prison in direct dependence on the immediate start of chemotherapy. At the same time, the medical experts refused to respond to a question put by the investigation – was it possible at all to conduct such chemotherapy in the conditions of a remand prison regime – because such therapy itself has deadly side-effects and requires that specific conditions be observed as it is being carried out.Since that time, despite my repeated appeals and complaints, I continue to be imprisoned unlawfully, without receiving essential chemotherapy and not having the opportunity for treatment in the specialized civilian clinic where I had been registered for monitoring in connection with the discovery of my illness.
At the same time, I have done everything that depends on me in order to achieve the conducting of the chemotherapy, including signing patient’s informed consent as required by law. But the treatment still has not started. Furthermore, the investigation, while acknowledging the validity of my demands to be provided with the conditions for medical treatment, not only has not undertaken any actions in this direction, but has even, in conjunction with the remand prison, impeded my access to the attending physician and to specialist doctors from the civilian clinic.The logical result of such a development of events has been the significant deterioration of my physical condition, the evolution of the illness to a more serious stage, and the development of a series of other illnesses, such as a tumour of the liver and the lymph nodes.As a result, by October of 2007, my condition had become life-threatening. And since 16 October 2007, the medical personnel of the remand prison has begun to register a daily fever with an elevation of temperature higher than 38 C.
My condition has become such that even the doctors at FGU IZ-99/1 of the FSIN of Russia were forced to confirm the impossibility of my participating in judicial-investigatory measures. The deterioration was so obvious that already on 23 October 2007, a panel of civilian specialist doctors was convened, which, in the presence of the remand prison doctor, based on the results of my cursory examination, found that I am in need of immediate admission to a specialised civilian inpatient clinic for full examination, determination of the precise causes of the fever, and treatment.
However, instead of carrying out the demands of the specialist doctors, on 26 October 2007 I was completely unexpectedly transferred to the hospital of another prison, specifically to FGU IZ-77/1 of the UFSIN of Russia for the city of Moscow. Since that time, and to this day, I am being held there, still not receiving the chemotherapy essential for my life. And this despite the fact that on 31 October 2007, the investigation itself officially acknowledged that my full examination and treatment in the remand prison is impossible.
However, instead of my being admitted to a civilian specialized inpatient facility as expected, on 15 November 2007, the Moscow city court, upon the petition of the investigation, extended the term of confinement in prison for me until 02 March 2008, completely ignoring the findings of the panel of doctors of 23 October 2007 presented by the investigation itself, basing its decision on a forged medical statement of 29 October 2007 from FGU IZ-77/1 of the UFSIN of Russia for the city of Moscow, about how I, am supposedly in “satisfactory condition” and can participate in judicial-investigatory measures, while my medical chart for 29 October 2007 shows a temperature of 39 C.
On the very next day, 16 November 2007, the investigation resumed the process of familiarisation with the case, which had not been conducted for a month until this moment in view of the unsatisfactory state of my health. At the same time, the investigator who visits me in the remand prison ceased granting me the opportunity prescribed by law to make statements and file petitions in the record of familiarization with the case, as had been done daily for the duration of the entire period of getting acquainted with the case. In such a manner, from this moment onwards I was deprived of the opportunity to exercise my rights as an accused, and, what is most important, could not notate in the record my explanations concerning state of health impeding the continuation of familiarisation with the case.
Such a situation has artificially created the conditions for the subsequent unlawful limitation of the time allocated to me and my defenders for familiarization with the case materials, which indeed was done by order of the Basmanny Court on 19 December 2007 – until 15 January 2008.Having understood that nobody intends to afford me the opportunity to receive essential medical aid, on 26 October 2007 I applied to the European Court of Human Rights, which, having examined the documents presented, indicated Interim Measures that I be admitted immediately to a specialized civilian inpatient facility. These Interim Measures were not carried out by the Russian Federation.
On 06 December 2007, the European Court of Human Rights repeated its Interim Measures, indicating a concrete deadline for my admission to a clinic by 10 December 2007. But these Interim Measures were likewise ignored by the Russian Federation, which, instead of automatically carrying out its international obligations to observe human rights, started sending senseless and intentionally obfuscatory bureaucratic correspondence in bad English to Strasbourg.
As a result, an unheard-of situation occurred where the European Court of Human Rights was compelled for the third time to demand of the Russian authorities that they carry out its Interim Measures to admit me by a deadline of 27 December 2007 to a civilian specialized inpatient facility.
Such behaviour by the Russian authorities is indisputable confirmation of the fact that the people being innocently prosecuted in the YUKOS case are not only not protected by any Russian laws, but have also been deprived of the opportunity to obtain the protection of international institutions for the protection of human rights that have been officially recognized by the Russian Federation, such as the European Court.
Such actions by the authorities not only confirm the lawlessness that is taking place in Russia, they also are of themselves the cause of concrete grave consequences for me personally. In the two months spent in the so-called prison “hospital”, I have contracted tuberculosis.
In such a manner, as the result of unlawful nearly two-year detention in prison even before trial, I, being for all intents and purposes blind, have been brought to a critical deathbed condition through the conscious, well-planned joint actions of prosecutors, investigators, judges, and prison doctors. Meanwhile, attempts to make a purjurious false witness out of me and to obtain testimony from me that would discredit the other managers of the NK Yukos company – for all intents and purposes in exchange for life – have not ceased in all this time. This is unthinkable in the 21st century, but it is taking place in reality behind a veil of silence, suppression of facts, and lies.
I call upon the Russian and International community to stop the process of the endless, senseless flagellation of people having anything at all to do with the NK Yukos company. The presumption of innocence enshrined in the Russian Constitution must not be turned into a fiction and be readily trampled on for the benefit of anybody’s interests, whoever this may be.
26 December 2007