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Friday, February 02, 2007

Now, They're Even Gagging the Babies!!!

The LEDE reports:

Score another one for citizen journalists, as well as the digital technologies that have given rise to their number — and made institutional bad actors much more prone to discovery.

The latest auteur is Elena Kuritsyna, whose cellphone camera work has launched an investigation into a hospital in the southern Ural town of Yekaterinburg, Russia, where staff had apparently taken to dealing with the cries of infant orphans by gagging them.

The video (LR : click the LEDE link to watch) has caused waves across Russian culture, according to BBC News:

The patient who reported the incident, Elena Kuritsyna, had been in the hospital with her own children.

She said she heard the suppressed crying of young children in the next ward.

“I heard that a baby was mumbling in a neighboring room; when I looked in, I saw the baby with plaster over his mouth; he could not cry or do anything, was just mumbling,” she told Reuters television.

She approached the nurse in the ward and was initially told to mind her own business. Children were crying too loudly, and distracting nurses from their work, she was told.

She eventually persuaded the nurse to remove the plaster, but she says that afterwards the nurse did it again.

The nurse has been suspended and on Wednesday the head doctor at the hospital was reprimanded.

It was not an isolated incident. A criminal investigation has been opened and, according to the prosecutors’ press service, as quoted by the BBC, “children in the first year of life were systematically gagged with sticking plaster to make children behave quietly.”

The hospital said it was understaffed.

For the unfiltered condemnation of a blogger (now THAT'S a russophobe), click here.


The Ranger said...

I would say "what in the blue hell were they thinking". I don't have too it is Russia. I hope someone hunts this woman down and treats her like the mad cyka she is.

Penny said...

The sickening truth to this is that it wasn't one persons doing, not in a hospital, it must have had approval by others. Things don't happen like that in a vacuum in public spaces.

Maybe it's early Russian conditioning in keeping your mouth shut throughout life.

guzhevnikov said...

interesting that this is a story that censors allow on russian tv. that's because the nurse, or the hospital officials obviously are to blame. the lack of funds to the hospital, too, is a city or oblast problem. it was the same in soviet times---corruption, waste and incompetence at the local level can be exposed or satired, but the RULING ELITE is never to blame. the problem is never linked in any way to the policies, programs or priorities of the ruling elite. that's off-limits. if, for example, the hospital director was to say on camera "this country is drowning in oil money, everyday we're told how rich we are, the chekisti get whatever they want yet we get nothing!!!"---that would not make air. that, for example, would be to close to the kremlin.

La Russophobe said...

GUZHY: Indeed, interesting. And you know, virtually any problem, even one that does involve high Kremlin officials, can be used as an excuse by Putin for a further crackdown. In fact, the higher up the problem, the better the justification for him to retain the reigns of power indefinitely. Same thing about crime on the streets; maybe the people resent it, but they've shown they won't vote their resentment and since crime scares them, it keeps them in their place and justifies a further expasion of police power (which power of course is used against innocent civilians, not criminals, chiefly dissidents like Dmitrievsky). Stalin loved to find high Kremlin officials engaged in misdeeds, so much so that he often invented misdeeds to find, because then he could kill them, and in so doing send a message to all the others that servile obedience was required.

Basically, the message ends up being, "if only these nurses had listened more slavishly to Grandfather Putin, this wouldn't have happened." Dictatorship is so convennient sometimes!