Ella Pamfilova, the chairwoman of the Russian president's Council for Promoting Civil and Human Rights, has said the death in custody last week of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky is a "murder and a tragedy," RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.
Pamfilova referred to Magnitsky's case during her report to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on the human rights situation in the country.
Magnitsky, a lawer for the London-based hedge fund Hermitage Capital, died on November 19 in a Moscow prison after allegedly being denied medical care.
Magnitsky, 37, was in Butyrka prison awaiting trial on tax-fraud charges.
* The last sentence has been changed to correct Magnitsky's status in prison.