Russian senators draft bill on pardon of convicts for taking part in hostilities

Russian senators Andrey Klishas and Olga Kovitidi have drafted a bill on pardoning convicts for participating in hostilities, Kovitidi says in a post on her Telegram channel.

“If a convict demonstrates courage and heroism in the line of duty, a conscientious attitude towards their military service duties, thus, proving their rehabilitation, then upon command’s report, courts can release them from serving their sentence or the remaining part of their sentence, by clearing their record or replacing the remaining part of the punishment with a more lenient one,” the senator wrote in her post.

According to Kovitidi, the bill applies to people who committed crimes of small and medium gravity. She also said that the [potential] law would not apply to convicts sentenced under articles on violating rules of conducting protests, on calls for or participation in mass disorders, on “discreditation” of Russia’s Armed Forces, on propaganda of Nazi symbols, on calls for imposing sanctions against Russia, and on “fake news” about Russia’s Armed Forces.

Previously, IStories* reported that Russia’s Defence Ministry had been recruiting convicts for the Ukraine War, according to the relatives of inmates who serve time in the regions of Ryazan and Stavropol. A video in which a man resembling the alleged head of Private Military Company (PMC) Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, recruits prisoners of a Russian penal colony for the war in Ukraine, appeared online in September. Mediazona also reported Prigozhin recruiting convicts in early August. Over 1,000 inmates had been recruited by PMC Wagner as of early August, Verstka previously reported.

*The Russian government considers Verstka an “undesirable” organisation. Reposting this news article in Russia may lead to a fine. A repeat offence could result in criminal charges.

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