Notorious Russian Prison to Get Tanning Beds

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By Aaron Hepker

MOSCOW (AP) — A centuries-old Russian prison notorious for its primitive conditions will soon offer inmates a new perk — tanning beds.

The ITAR-Tass news agency on Sunday cited federal prisons service Viktor Dezhurov as saying the tanning beds at Moscow's Butyrskaya prison will be ready for observances of its' 240-year anniversary this year.

Dezhurov was quoted as saying the tanning beds are meant to compensate for inadequate sunlight in the cells. But inmates will have to pay and at 10 rubles (33 cents) a minute, that's a sizable fee in a country where the average monthly salary is well under $1,000.

The prison's dismal conditions attracted wide attention in 2009 after the death of Sergei Magnitsky, a young lawyer who died of pancreas disease there after inadequate medical care.

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