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Russian prison authorities working to release paralyzed man jailed for armed robbery

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    Russia’s Federal Penal Correction Service said that it is working to facilitate the release of a paralyzed man who weighs just 18 kilograms after his imprisonment for the armed robbery of a former Special Service troop caused a vast public outcry.

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    The 28-year-old Anton Mamayev, who is forced to use a wheelchair due to suffering from spinal muscular dystrophy, was delivered to Matrosskaya Tishina detention facility in Moscow on June 30.

    A district court in the capital ruled that Mamayev was guilty of armed robbery and sentenced him to four and a half in prison. Mamayev is said to have threatened to shoot his accuser and leave him to die in the woods.

    He was accused of the crime by a man who recently sold him a scooter, which the paralyzed man is said to have planned to resell.

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    The court was told that Mamayev threatened to shoot the accuser in the legs, put him in a car trunk and drive him into the forest as well as “cripple [him], cut off his ears, put out his eyes and shoot him dead.” Investigators, however, were unable to discover the gun and the knife supposedly used in the crime.

    The accuser maintained in the court that he had served in the Spetznaz, according to daily. Mamayev denied the charges, saying the man had a grudge against him and allegedly owed him money.

    Another person who received a three-year sentence as an accomplice in the crime has been reportedly hired to take care of the disabled man.

    RT contacted Mamayev’s lawyer on Monday, who said that his client’s health has rapidly declined during the 10 days of his detention and he’s “almost at death’s door.” 

    “I won’t survive here,” the disabled man earlier told human rights activists who visited him at Matrosskaya Tishina, reported.

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    The detention facility doesn’t have the equipment and nurses to provide the constant care Mamayev requires, as he is unable to operate his own wheelchair, eat or go to the toilet on his own. The paralyzed inmate said that he was feeling excruciating pain during the night due to the lack of the required rehabilitation procedures.

    The case has caused a public outrage in Russia after appearing in the media. A spokesman for Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office said they are studying the case “in detail.”

    Despite his disability, Mamayev had led an active life. He has a wife and small daughter and owns a business.

    Human rights advocates and people on social media have refused to believe that a paralyzed man could have committed the crime in question, and doubted his chances of survival behind bars.

    Mikhail Fedotov, chairman of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, has called the case of Mamayev a “terrible situation,” adding that he has appealed to the Moscow Prosecutor’s Office.  

    “It’s completely incomprehensible why both the investigative authorities and the court – who, apparently, have no eyes or conscience – put this man in jail for the armed robbery of two adult strong men. Mamayev’s case is, of course, out of the ordinary,” Olga Romanova, who heads the Rus’ Sidyaschaya charity that helps inmates and their families, told Business FM.

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