Target: President Vladimir Putin
Goal: Demand that all drug trafficking charges against Dr. Alevtina Khorinyak are dropped
Judicial authorities in Russia must immediately drop drug trafficking charges against a female doctor and another women who helped get prescription pain medication to a dying cancer patient. These charges are draconian. The doctor, Alevtina Khorinyak, was simply attempting to help a man who was in excruciating pain due to his illness. The man could no longer afford the drugs that he needed to control his pain due to a lack of state subsidies for the medicine, so Dr. Khorinyak chose to act to ease his pain. Dr. Khorinyak wrote two prescriptions for the medicine and had the other woman, known only as L.T. in court documents, buy the drugs for the man. This is not enough to justify these absurdly dramatic trafficking charges. The Russian government must immediately and unconditionally drop the charges facing these two women.
Russia’s regulations on controlled drugs such as pain medication are among the strictest in the world. While international law dictates that countries have an obligation to regulate such medications, the World Health Organization guidelines state that control efforts should be balanced against a responsibility to ensure pain medications are readily available for medical purposes. The right to take these drugs is essentially part of the human right to health.
By charging these women with drug trafficking, the Russian government is displaying its lack of regard for human rights. In other countries with similar capabilities and facilities, these drugs would never have been so far out of reach for Dr. Khorinyak’s cancer-stricken patient. To then charge her with this crime is to ignore the failings of the government. Sign this petition and demand that the government immediately and unconditionally drop the charges faced by Dr. Khorinyak and her helper, L.T.
Dear President Vladimir Putin,
The recent drug trafficking charges brought against Dr. Alevtina Khorinyak by your government are absurd. I ask that you immediately drop these charges and allow Dr. Khorinyak to resume practicing medicine free of condition. She was simply attempting to soothe the pain of a patient by providing him with medicine that your medical system could not. Changes need to be made within your medical infrastructure, but not to the life of this woman.
By charging these women with drug trafficking, you are adding more negative attention to the human rights record of your country. At some point a change needs to be made. Make this instance that moment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: World Bank Photo Collection via Flickr