Anna Karetnikova: Now go find the body

17 February 2024

Source: Facebook


Questions have been asked about which statutory act regulates the release to relatives of dead convicts’ bodies (ugh, I always wished I could skim through this section of penitentiary legislation quickly, hoping always that everyone stayed alive. . . . But that didn’t happen).

So the procedure is described in Section 12 of Supplement No. 2 to the Justice Ministry’s Mandamus 110, which confirms the Rules of Internal Order in an IK [prison colony]. I’ll put the reference in the comments. 

I see several points that put me on my guard there. 

The first is point 189: “The body shall be released for burial with the permission of the individual or organ conducting the examination or investigating the criminal case on the fact of death.” 

Does this mean this individual or organ doesn’t have to give permission? And how long do they not have to give permission? Can they never give permission? It’s good that the examination has a time limit. But if there’s a criminal case, if one is opened for some reason, it could stretch out for years. . . .

Then point 192: “Release of the body of a dead person at the request of the spouse, close relatives, other relatives, the legal representative of the deceased, or some other individual who has taken on the responsibility of burying the deceased cannot be delayed for more than two full days from the day the cause of death is established.”

So I have another question: from the moment the cause of death is established? How long can establishing this reason take? Are there specific deadlines? (Maybe doctors know the answer to this question better than I do).

And finally, point 195: “In the absence of a spouse, close relatives, other relatives, or any legal representative of the deceased or else given their refusal to carry out the burial, the deceased is subject to burial according to the procedure established by the Russian Ministry of Justice mandamus dated 23 June 2005, no. 93: “On confirmation of the instruction on the procedure for the burial of individuals who have died during the period of their criminal punishment and incarceration in institutions of the Russian FSIN [Federal Penitentiary Service].” This mandamus talks about burials of unclaimed bodies at state expense by the colony’s administration.

I don’t want to end at this thought, all this is barbaric, cynical if even the body might vanish unclaimed. On the other hand, we hit the lowest of lows yesterday. Again. But every time it’s lower and lower.🙁

Mocking a mother who lost her son yesterday. Would could be more terrible? But no, now go find the body.

Pure Antigone. . . .🙁


Translated by Marian Schwartz

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