Ex-Yukos Executive Kept in Handcuffs

APVasily Aleksanyan
Former Yukos vice president Vasily Aleksanyan is handcuffed to a hospital bed 24 hours a day and not even allowed to leave to go to the bathroom, his lawyer said Monday.

Aleksanyan, 36, who is suffering from AIDS-related lymphoma, was transferred to a Moscow clinic earlier this month amid a public outcry over his conditions in a detention center.

He is being kept in isolation in the clinic, where he is handcuffed to the bed and can only lie down, sit up or stand by it, said Drew Holiner, Aleksanyan's lawyer for the European Court of Human Rights.

Aleksanyan is not being allowed to go for walks and is being forced to shave and go to the toilet in bed, Holiner said.

"We are absolutely horrified that he is permanently attached to his bed in such unhygienic conditions," Holiner said in a statement. "His conditions are now even worse than when he was in prison."

A Federal Prison Service spokesman, Valery Zaitsev, said regular clinics lacked proper security to handle prisoners, so Aleksanyan had to be handcuffed to his bed. He could not confirm that Aleksanyan was not allowed to go for walks.

Aleksanyan was transferred to the unidentified clinic on Feb. 8. His lawyers located him later and met with him briefly on Feb. 16.

Aleksanyan "has no idea when he will next be able to see us," Holiner said.

Aleksanyan, who faces trial on embezzlement and money-laundering charges, has said he was denied AIDS treatment while in detention because he had refused to testify against his former Yukos bosses, Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev, who face new fraud and tax-evasion charges on top of the eight-year prison sentences they are already serving.

The European Court of Human Rights had repeatedly called on Russian authorities to transfer Aleksanyan to a specialized AIDS clinic.