Russia’s Enduring Gulag


Robert Amsterdam has published an exclusive translation of an article from the German newspaper Die Welt by Manfred Quiring, which takes a look at the current controversies over prison conditions and dying prisoners, and what President Dmitry Medvedev is trying to do about it.

Russian prisons have a notorious reputation, and many inmates die while being held in detention pending trial. The figures speak for themselves: In 2005, there were a total of 540 deaths among 100,000 inmates and 686 became invalids. In 2010, the corresponding figures are expected to be lowered to 420 and 675, respectively.

The living conditions for the approximately 875,000 inmates in Russian prisons and the country’s 755 prison camps are so horrible that even the Ministry of Justice had to admit in a report that they are “demeaning to human dignity, lead to physical and moral suffering, and violate the human right to health and personal safety.”

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