Health condition of anti-fascist Alexei Olesinov, who is held at Moscow's Medvedkovo pre-trial detention centre as a suspect in the "Moscow antifa case" for allegedly participating in a brawl, has sharply deteriorated. Independent expert evaluation, conducted by the Pavlov State Medical University in St Petersburg, confirmed that Olesinov risks becoming permanently disabled.
However, the pre-trial detention centre administration has opposed bringing outside doctors to treat him. Opposition activists say that should Olesinov's health be significantly damaged, active protests by radical-left youth may ensue.
As [Russian business newspaper] RBK Daily reported earlier, at the moment in Moscow and other Russian cities a series of criminal cases concerning brawls between ultra-left and ultra-right youths are being investigated. During investigative actions, law-enforcement officers repeatedly said that they want to prove via a court procedure the existence of the antifa extremist community, which has violent actions against nationalists as its purpose. Law-enforcers consider Alexei Olesinov, also known as Shkobar, to be one of the leaders of the antifa.
As Olesinov's lawyer Svetlana Sidorkina told RBK Daily, the health of her client has been steadily deteriorating. Sometimes he loses his bearings, cannot remember where he's at, and depression suddenly replaces euphoria. Doctors suspect that Olesinov may suffer from post-traumatic encephalopathy.
Olesinov also suffers from strong, painful coughing. A chest X-ray made at the pre-trial detention centre showed a blackening in the lung, which may indicate tuberculosis. Sidorkina said that in the eight months her client spent in pre-trial detention, investigators only spoke to him once.
Independent expert evaluation, conducted by the Pavlov State Medical University in St Petersburg, had indicated that Olesinov may become permanently disabled, and requires serious check-up. As outside medics are not allowed to visit pre-trial detention centres, the expert evaluation was conducted on the basis of Olesinov's pre-detention health record and his responses to questions drawn up by doctors.
Sidorkina said that she was informed by pre-trial detention centre's administration that her client can be provided with all required medical services at Medvedkovo. The dispute between the lawyer and the prison administration is to be heard by a court in early December.
Federal Penal Service press service said they are unable to comment on the quality of medical services provided to those held at Medvedkovo pre-trial detention centre. Member of the Public Supervisory Committee (ONK) Anna Karetnikova told RBK Daily that Moscow's only fully functional prison hospital is located at the Matrosskaya Tishina pre-trial detention centre, and forwarding detainees there from other isolators often becomes a problem. Another ONK member, Maria Kannabikh, said that while Medvedkovo is generally considered to be one of Moscow's best pre-trial detention centres, all prison administrations are often unwilling to let suspects be examined by outside medics, as that may be complicated by the need to organise escorting of detainees.
Member of the opposition Coordination Council Alexei Gaskarov told RBK Daily that Olesinov is indeed well-known in the anti-fascist community. Thus, should he become disabled during his pre-trial imprisonment, when he was not even found guilty by a court, very radical protests may ensue, Gaskarov said.
This is the second criminal case concerning Olesinov. When he was first arrested in 2008 [also for brawling with nationalists outside a Moscow club], radical protesters torched several cars and buildings belonging to police and other state bodies, and posted videos on-line.
By Alexander Litoy, RBK Daily newspaper website, Nov. 20, 2012