07 July 2017, Friday

Amur Khakulov was sentenced in Nalchik as one of the accused in a case known as the Case of the 58. He spent more than 10 years in Pre-trial Detention Centre No. 1 in Nalchik, awaiting trial, from the autumn of 2005 to the spring of 2016. Chronic illnesses from which he suffered worsened over his time in the pre-trial detention centre, and towards the end of 2014, he was found to have chronic kidney failure. He did not receive the proper medical treatment while in the pre-trial detention centre, and in August 2015, his wife came to Justice Initiative, stating that the pre-trial detention centre staff were not giving Khakulov the medicines doctors had prescribed for him.

In September 2015, Justice Initiative sent an application to Strasbourg and succeeded in ensuring that Khakulov began to receive vital dialysis treatment, which the doctors had ordered. The treatment was carried out in prison and with a number of oversights, about which Justice Initiative also made repeated statements.  

Through the efforts of lawyers at Justice Initiative, Khakulov underwent examination by a special medical commission. The doctors concluded that Khakulov’s kidney disease precluded his being kept in the pre-trial detention centre, but on January 27, 2016, the Russian Supreme Court refused to allow Khakulov’s release.

“Khakulov was sent from the pre-trial detention centre to a prison colony”, said Diana Kostina, a lawyer working with Justice Initiative. “The transfer process took three weeks during which Khakulov received no treatment. Without dialysis, his health worsened. In Kirovo-Chepetsk, where he was brought, doctors again affirmed that his illness made it impossible for him to serve his sentence in a prison colony. Neither the Kirovo-Chepetsk District Court nor the Kirov Region Court, where we sent appeals, hoping the Khakulov would be freed, listened to the doctors’ opinions. Khakulov remained in the prison colony, where he did not receive the needed treatment”.  

On October 7, 2016, Khakulov was urgently taken from Prison Medical Facility No. 12 to Kirov Regional Clinical Hospital, where he died the same day of terminal stage chronic kidney failure.

Only on July 4, 2017, a criminal case was opened against the personnel at Federal Corrections Service Medical Facility No. 43 and Kirov Regional Clinical Hospital under Article 109 Part 2 of the Russian Federation Criminal Code – Death caused by negligence.

“We fought for nearly two years for Khakulov to get medical aid”, Diana Kostina said. “We will seek a full and fair investigation into his death. This will be possible only if, first, the fact that he did not get proper treatment for a long time at the pre-trial detention centre in Nalchik is taken into account, and second, that the courts’ decisions ignored the medical commission’s conclusions and doctors’ demands. Finally, the Federal Corrections Service personal did not provide him with the needed treatment during the transfer to the prison colony. He did not therefore receive the regular treatment he needed and died as a result. All of this points to systematic violations of the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights and the principles of Russian legislation on protection of health of life”. 

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