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YEKATERINBURG, July 19 (Itar-Tass) —— Sverdlovsk police have no plans to close down the Gorod Bez Narkotikov (City Without Drugs) Centre in Yekaterinburg, the head of the Interior Ministry’s Main Department for Sverdlovsk Region, Mikhail Borodin, said.
“We have no task of closing down the foundation,” Borodin said. He also appeared to be surprised by the fact that police have been “accused of storming and seizing” the centre, the activities of which are under scrutiny in connection with criminal cases opened after the death of one of the women who was undergoing a rehabilitation course there.
“Well, there was a visit by a commission consisting of police officers, prosecutors, medics and others. So, why don’t you open up and show what you have? Are you hiding something? But no, they must balk and object. Let me say that I personally think well of the foundation’s Director Yevgeny Roizman,” Borodin said.
On June 18, a 29-year-old woman from Nizhny Tagil died in hospital in the city of Berezovsky. She was taken to the hospital from the City Without Drugs centre. A criminal case was opened following her death, on charges of “manslaughter caused by improper performance by an official of his professional duties”.
According to the investigators, two persons, who were undergoing a course of rehabilitation at the foundation’s centre in the village of Sarapulka on the Beloyarsk Water Reservoir, turned to police for help on the night from June 20 to June 21. They said that they were humiliated and physically abused by the centre personnel every day. At about the same time, police received information that the management of the foundation was hastily closing down rehabilitation centre, virtually throwing their patients out. Police and regional prosecutors arrived at the scene and helped the patients get to the city.
Roizman said several criminal cases are underway on charges of abduction and physical assault. On July 1, police searched the foundation’s offices as part of the investigation. Four young women were deemed to be the injured parties in these cases, the Interior Ministry press service said.
City Without Drugs was created over ten years ago in Yekaterinburg, one of Russia’s largest cities, by ex-convicts and ex-drug users eager to fight drug trafficking in their city and to “rehabilitate” people with drug dependency.