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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Prison Rule on Food Is Upheld

The Supreme Court reaffirmed a prison rule Monday making it a violation for inmates to share food, responding to an appeal filed by jailed Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

The ruling stemmed from an incident in which Khodorkovsky, serving an eight-year sentence in the Yag 14/10 prison camp in Krasnokamensk, received food from another prisoner.

Yury Schmidt, Khodorkovsky's lawyer, asked the court to scrap a Federal Prison Service regulation that bars selling, buying or otherwise trading food and personal items, arguing the rule violated the Constitution and accepted international human rights standards.

Khodorkovsky was placed in solitary confinement for 10 days on June 3 after prison officials discovered food among his belongings that they said had been given to him by another inmate.

Schmidt said Monday that he would appeal the Supreme Court decision.

At a news conference Monday, Vladimir Semenyuk, the Federal Prison Service's deputy director, said internal prison rules were constantly being reevaluated, and that there had not been "widespread" complaints by prisoners.

Semenyuk suggested many prisoners who filed complaints were simply trying to attract attention. He dismissed complaints by Khodorkovsky's lawyers that Khodorkovsky has been forbidden from pursuing his academic work.

"No one can forbid anyone from taking part in this activity, Khodorkovsky included," Semenyuk said.

But he added that Khodorkovsky, who has voiced interested in writing a dissertation, would only be able to defend his thesis after being released from prison.