Over 90 percent of prisoners in Russia are sick: prosecutor

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More than 90 percent of prisoners in Russia are sick, mostly with tuberculosis, AIDS and different types of hepatitis, the office of the public prosecutor admitted on Wednesday.

"Checks have shown that more than 90 percent of those in prison or being held pending trial are sick, very often with illnesses such as tuberculosis, hepatitides and HIV infections," said a statement.

"Most problems with penal healthcare are linked to financing. In 2010, detainee medical services had only 24 percent of the necessary funds," it said, adding that the findings had been sent to President Dimitry Medvedev.

The prosecutor added that 60 percent of medical equipment dates from the 70s and 80s and that over half of it is dilapidated.

Medvedev ordered an assessment of Russia's penal system after the deaths of several prisoners who did not receive appropriate medical care, including the November death in pre-trial detention of a 37-year-old lawyer of heart failure.

© 2010 AFP

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