Voina attorney Dmitri Dinze’s project “Use of Medical Experts to Secure Release from Pretrial Detention in Russia” has been awarded third place in the Innovating Justice award competition. Congratulations!
Russian law requires that pretrial detainees be provided provisional release for a range of health conditions, but in most cases detainees are never provided with the medical examinations necessary for such release. Humanitarian Action, a nongovernmental organization working with people who use drugs in St. Petersburg, has piloted a mechanism for obtaining release for people with serious health conditions by coupling a lawyer with a forensic medical expert to conduct and review medical examinations of detainees. In cases when the authorities do not permit the doctor to enter pretrial facilities, the lawyer asks detainees a set of questions formulated by the doctor, who then draws up tentative conclusions. These conclusions are then presented at sentencing hearings to obtain early release or to improve existing conditions of detention. Unfortunately, the availability of such medical-legal assistance for pretrial detainees in Russia does not nearly meet the national demand, leaving many detainees vulnerable to proliferation of diseases or even death in custody.
Detailed info about the project: link
Update (August 1st, 2011): According to Dmitri, at the awards ceremony it was announced that the project had actually won second place, not third.