EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Medvedev Signs Bill Granting Officials, Rights Groups Access to Prisons

Posted by Info on 08/04/2011

The bill did not elaborate on which foreign rights groups it covers, saying only the organizations will be defined based on Russia’s international agreements.

Public Chamber member Yelena Lukyanova: “For the first time in decades, large-scale reforms are being carried out in the penal system. Reforms will be slow, and during the transition period, we need strict control.”

But Eduard Rudek of the Oversight Commission for Human Rights of Prisoners said the legislation alone is not enough to bring change. “The problem lies with the law’s implementation. The laws we have now are also good, but the prisons are bad; the laws are not being implemented.”

A former inmate also voiced skepticism on the reforms. “On one hand, it’s a positive step because authorities will be forced to react [to criticism by inspectors], but I think the rights of prisoners will still be violated since our system as a whole is not intended to correct the man, but to break him.

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