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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Prosecutor Deplores Poor Prison Conditions

A top federal prosecutor has lamented poor living conditions in prisons and pretrial detention centers, including high mortality rates and overcrowding.

A total of 4,150 inmates died of various illnesses in prisons last year, while another 521 died in pretrial detention, Deputy Prosecutor General Yevgeny Zabarchuk told Rossiiskaya Gazeta in an interview published Tuesday.

The most high-profile of those deaths was perhaps Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, 37, who died of heart failure in November after being denied medical treatment in pretrial detention. His death prompted President Dmitry Medvedev to dismiss about two dozen senior prison officials, including Deputy Justice Minister Yury Kalinin.

Zabarchuk said prison officials committed 77,000 legal violations in 2009, and more than 16,500 officials received reprimands.

In a number of regions, pretrial detention centers provide a maximum of two square meters of living area per person, no air conditioning and no individual beds, he said.

The prison system houses more than 900,000 inmates.