Political persecution

Taisia Osipova being “slowly killed”

 

RFE/RL has an article on Russian rights activist Taisia Osipova’s third birthday in prison:

Osipova, who has a 7-year-old daughter, was initially sentenced to 10 years in prison for the possession and attempted sale of heroin.

The ruling sparked an outcry and was denounced by critics as a setup aimed at putting pressure on her husband’s political activities.

She got a retrial in 2012 after then-President Dmitry Medvedev criticized the verdict as “too severe.”

But her sentence was trimmed by just two years, although prosecutors had recommended that she serve a total of four years.

Osipova has complained of being subjected to humiliation by officials at her prison near Tver, including being held in a crowded cell and routinely barred from meeting with her lawyer.

According to Fomchenkov, she is also being denied proper medical treatment for diabetes. She is also reported to be suffering from pancreatitis.

Her health, he says, is rapidly deteriorating.

“She is not receiving suitable treatment. As a person with diabetes, she should have appropriate living conditions and diet,” Fomchenkov says. “This is impossible in prison. There is no endocrinologist there. In three years of detention she has seen an endocrinologist only twice, although she should be under constant monitoring by a specialist. This is not happening. They are slowly killing her.”

 

See also in this blog: Taisia Osipova sentenced to 8 years

The New “Hooligans”

At Grani.ru, Lev Rubinstein considers the current wave of arrests, detentions and court hearings in Russia, all targeted at those who dissent from the Putin government’s harsh and repressive social policies. Whereas in Soviet times the principal accusation leveled at dissidents was that of being “spies”, the most common charge now is “hooliganism”. But unfortunately for the authorities the new “hooligans” don’t look, speak or behave like hooligans, especially when compared with their judicial tormentors:

Well, just go and attend one or two of these hearings. Just take a look at the faces of the accused and compare them with those of the judges, prosecutors, and  “victims of crime” who have suffered primarily from Mother Nature and from a lack of love in childhood.

What in the Soviet era was explained as a “class” difference, Rubinstein interprets in modern terms as an anthropological one:

Isn’t it because most of these new “hooligans” conduct themselves so honourably and bravely in the shameful courts and in the prisons, and because they are perfectly aware of their own value and of the value of those institutions.They are simply unable to talk to the goblins and gnomes in their language, that language called “cooperation with the investigation”. It’s an anthropological incompatibility.

….

No, what governs here is not only the “social imperative”. What rules here, as in a Greek tragedy, is not only fate, which has taken up residence in our great city behind red brick walls.

“Here, dear sir, is anthropology,” as some character from Dostoyevsky might say in this or another connection.