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HRC asks for release of prisoners from pre-trial detention centers due to coronavirus

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The presidential Council for the development of civil society and human rights (HRC) asked the heads of the Federal penitentiary service, the TFR and the Council of judges of Russia to “pay close attention to the situation with the detention of citizens in jail and consider changing the measure of restraint for some of the arrested, releasing them from custody and placing them under house arrest.” Human rights activists are concerned about the threat of the COVID-19 epidemic, the website says.


In particular, the HRC appealed to the Chairman of the TFR Alexander Bastrykin with a request to “take the initiative to change the measure of restraint for persons brought to criminal responsibility”. Human rights activists ask the Chairman of the Council of judges Viktor Momotov “to discuss with the judicial community the issue of developing recommendations for the courts to transfer some of those under investigation from jail to house arrest with the obligation to strictly observe the conditions of quarantine.”


The head of the Federal penitentiary service, Alexander Kalashnikov, is asked by the HRC to take into account the principle of presumption of innocence, since people whose criminal acts have not yet been proven by the court are held in jail. It is noted that the isolation cells are full, while a ban on access to lawyers and other visitors under investigation, receiving parcels and transfers has been introduced.


Earlier, a strict quarantine regime was introduced in the capital’s courts and pre-trial detention centers. In Russia, 440 new cases of coronavirus have been registered in the last 24 hours. For the first time, the daily increase was less than on the previous day (the day before the increase was 500 people). The total number of infected people reached 2777 on April 1. During the day, 7 people died, the total number of fatalities reached 24. 69 people recovered in a day, 190 in total.

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