A suspect in the death of a drug addict undergoing treatment with the controversial Gorod Bez Narkotikov foundation has been charged with false imprisonment of six women, the Investigative Committee said on Friday.
The investigation alleged that the Yekaterinburg resident, Igor Shabalin, 34, was involved in the illegal treatment of addicts as part of the foundation’s radical program, which often includes total isolation of patients while they overcome withdrawal symptoms.
The latest charge is that Shabalin held six women at the drug treatment facility against their will since the beginning of the current year.
The charge carries a sentence of up to five years in prison.
Shabalin is also suspected of coercing witnesses to provide false testimony.
The deceased patient, Tatyana Kazantseva, 29, was an addict placed in the one of the foundation’s rehabilitation centers earlier this year. She complained of feeling sick on June 10 and seven days later was taken to hospital where she died. According to a spokesman for the fund, Kazantseva died from meningitis.
The physiology of drug withdrawal
Following her death, several criminal cases were opened against the fund over abuse and deaths of addicts undergoing treatment.
A court later ordered Kazantseva’s remains to be exhumed so that an autopsy could be performed.
Controversial anti-drug crusader Yevgeny Roizman and his supporters have claimed Russia’s healthcare establishment is using the case as a pretext to crack down on the group.