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Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project: This Week’s Highlights From OCCRP

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The Low Price of Torture in Russia

Torture is widespread in police cells and prisons across Russia.

Based on judgments last year by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), Russia was implicated in over half of cases involving torture, inhuman treatment or ineffective investigation of such crimes.

According to almost 4,500 sentences handed to officials, it appears that many abusers receive suspended sentences and are able to return to their duties in just a few years. Compensation victims receive is often dozens of times less than requested.

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News Highlights

The Latest In Organized Crime & Corruption
Foul Language and Secret Prisons
When investigating why Russian border guards refused to let a Tajik citizen leave the country, a journalist discovered that the FSB has been systematically using remote police stations across southern Russia as secret prisons. Victims are detained for weeks on petty charges, such as swearing in public.

Bulgarian Journalist Viktoria Marinova Violently Murdered

Bulgarian authorities say that murdered journalist Viktoria Marinova, 30, was raped and beaten before her body was found in a park in the city of Ruse. The murder of the TV host and director for the regional television network drew international condemnation.

Another South Korean ex-President Goes Down for Corruption

A Seoul court sentenced the former President of South Korea Lee Myung-bak to 15 years in prison for abuse of power and embezzlement, making the 76-year-old the fourth of his country’s leaders to be convicted.

US, UK, the Netherlands Accuse Russia of Cyber Attacks

The U.S. Department of Justice indicted seven Russian intelligence officers over alleged cyber attacks against the U.S. and its allies, saying they targeted the World Anti-Doping Agency, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and a nuclear power company in Pennsylvania.

China Detains Interpol head Over Bribery Allegations

Two weeks after Meng Hongwei, the president of Interpol, went missing after sending his wife a mysterious knife emoji, Chinese authorities announced that he was being detained and investigated over bribery allegations.

Zimbabwe: State Electricity Officials Nabbed for Alleged $35m Graft

Police arrested last week three top employees of Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), the state-owned electricity company, in connection with over US$35 million alleged illicit dealings with an Indian company.

Records Show US Blocked Oligarch’s Manhattan Mansion

Following sanctions the US Treasury imposed in April against Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska, authorities have frozen his Upper East Side mansion, occupied by the ex-wife of his business partner Roman Abramovich.
The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) is a joint program of a number of regional investigative centers and independent media from Eastern Europe to Central Asia and beyond. We constantly strive to help the people of the regions we work in to better understand how organized crime and corruption affect their lives.

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