Revised procedures for observer visits to Russian penal institutions
Procedures approved for public observer visits to penal colonies and pre-trial detention centres
A measure that caused public outcry has been removed from a new version of the legal order.
The Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia has approved the rules and procedure under which members of public monitoring commissions (ONKs) can visit penal institutions. An order to bring this into effect has been published on the official legal information portal.
A previous version of the order caused public dissatisfaction, as it had required ONK members to give 48 hours’ notice of their visit to an institution. Pavel Savchuk, chairman of the Russian Red Cross, said: “The proposed measure would turn ONKs into passive observers, which is dangerous for prisoners.” In the end, the Federal Penitentiary Service decided to withdraw the measure, which the Ministry of Justice supported.