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Dire Conditions In St. Petersburg Asylum Lead To Deaths

ST. PETERSBURG -- St. Petersburg's Civil Commission for Human Rights says over 20 patients of a psychiatric asylum died as a result of negligence and human rights abuse last month.

Human rights activist Leonid Lemberik told RFE/RL's Russian Service that in June the asylum moved to a new building in the town of Zelenograd near St. Petersburg.

He said one of the asylum's former patients informed human rights organizations about the dire conditions the patients endured in the new building.

There were said to be 15 beds in each room and no water. The first floor was always flooded, and very often the patients had to sleep on the floor without mattresses.

Lemberik said that these types of situation occur mainly because of a lack of official and social control over the asylums.