The still unexplained death of anticorruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in a police detention center two years ago led Medvedev to pledge a full house-cleaning at the Interior Ministry, which oversees the police and prison systems.
"Medvedev began a reform as a response to social pressure, but he allowed Interior Ministry officials themselves to carry it out. That calls into question the seriousness of the reform," says Oleg Orlov, chairman of Memorial, Russia's largest human rights organization. "We still see police violence, and very few cases are ever investigated. There has been no deep reform."
Still unsolved journalist murders
Another Medvedev pledge was to investigate a string of murders and beatings of independent journalists and human rights monitors including the 2006 assassination of investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya, the brutal 2009 slaying of Chechen human rights activist Natalya Estemirova, and last year's vicious beating of Oleg Kashin, a journalist with the Moscow daily Kommersant.