Vasily Aleksanian to get treatment outside Russian SIZO


According to the Federal Service for the Execution of Sentences, the former Vice President of YUKOS Vasily Aleksanian is to be transferred from SIZO [a remand prison] to a civil hospital.

This thankfully reverses the ruling yesterday by a Moscow court that he should be treated in the SIZO. 

As reported at the time, a number of well-known Russian writers, actors and others publicly confirmed their willingness to act as guarantors that Aleksanian would not “abscond” if released from custody. 

The inverted commas seem appropriate given that Mr Aleksanian is very gravely ill with at least two potentially fatal diseases, one of which has probably developed due to lack of treatment.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, former head of YUKOS, has been on hunger strike since last week demanding humane treatment for his former colleagues. 12 people in Russia have joined him in refusing to take food until Mr Aleksanian is transferred to a civil hospital.

It is cheering that on this occasion, albeit desperately late, the Russian authorities may finally be heeding the calls from Russian human rights defenders and those in other countries, including Ukraine.

It remains of the deepest concern that the authorities even on Wednesday were prepared to take decisions yet again ignoring directives from the European Court of Human Rights.

Yesterday 23 members of the European Parliament addressed an appeal to President Putin and other Russian leaders to provide Vasily Aleksanian with proper treatment.  The parliamentarians also called for just treatment towards all those connected with the case of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev.

New information reported on the BBC Russian Service and

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