Olga Romanova: Release the prisoners, unload the prisons! What is happening in prisons during the coronavirus pandemic

4 April 2020

Olga Romanova, head of the human rights organisation Jailed Russia, winner of the Moscow Helsinki Group Award

Source: Moscow Helsinki Group [original source: My Russian Rights]

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, prisoners are being released in Europe, the United States, Afghanistan and Iran. This is only the case for those who have a short amount of time left on their sentences, and those who have committed minor and nonviolent crimes. But what about in Russia?

Meetings with family members, transfers and delivery of parcels have been cancelled, no investigative actions undertaken, and the courts quarantined. Those who have reached the deadline to be released on parole remain in prison.

In the video below, Olga Romanova, head of the human rights organisation Jailed Russia [Rus sidyashchaya], winner of a Moscow Helsinki Group award, talks about Russian prisons during the coronavirus pandemic, “human rights hysteria” and Vladimir Putin’s non existent resocialisation mechanisms. The day before, Putin made a televised address and extended non-working days until 30 April due to the spread of COVID-19. “What is happening now in prison will spread very quickly here, both inside and outside of prison, where we live in relative freedom.”

Translated by James Lofthouse

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