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Josef Stalin
A senior Russian human rights official has criticized the publication of school notebooks with the portraits of political figures on the covers.

Mikhail Fedotov, chairman of the presidential Commission on the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights, made the comments in response to the recent sales in Moscow of notebooks with portraits of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin on the cover.

The notebooks were part of the "Great Names of Russia" series.

"School is not a place for political propaganda," Fedotov said, adding that "no one would be bothered" by notebooks with portraits of great Russian writers, composers, or scientists.

The head of the Moscow municipal education committee told Ekho Moskvy that Stalin was "a criminal who destroyed millions of his countrymen" and that including him among the "great names of Russia" was "nonsense."

The same printing company had earlier used a portrait of Stalin for a series called "Famous World Tyrants."

Based on reporting by Interfax and Ekho Moskvy
Police are investigating the death of a 45-year-old man while in police custody in the Siberian city of Tyumen.

The man, whose name has not been released, died after being detained late on March 30 on a minor offense.

He reportedly became unwell shortly after being detained and died before an ambulance arrived at the station.

Cases of alleged police abuse have been in the news in Russia lately, after a man died earlier this month in the city of Kazan after allegedly having been beaten and raped with a glass bottle.

Earlier this week, four police were charged in the asphyxiation death of a detainee in the Siberian city of Novokuznetsk.

Police reform has been a major initiative of the presidency of Dmitry Medvedev.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax

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