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.