Vikotr Cherkesov (file photo) (ITAR-TASS)
December 19, 2006 -- Rights groups have criticized a proposal by the head of Russia's Federal Antinarcotics Service to bring back Soviet-era policies mandating medical treatment for drug addicts.
General Viktor Cherkesov suggested last month such a move would save the addicts' lives and prevent them from committing violence. But Russia's group Memorial said on December 18 that mandatory treatment would lead to rights violations, while the New York-based Human Rights Watch said there was already a shortage of hospital beds to treat addicts who want to be helped.
Democracy In Russia
Demonstrators in Moscow carry a coffin with a television in it to protest government control over broadcasting (TASS file photo)
DO RUSSIANS LIKE THEIR GOVERNMENT? During a briefing at RFE/RL's Washington office on November 15, Richard Rose, director of the Center for the Study of Public Policy at the University of Aberdeen, discussed the results of 14 surveys he has conducted since 1992 on Russian public opinion about democracy and the country's development. He discussed the implications of these opinions for relations with the West and for Russia's 2008 presidential election.