The government of Russia has ordered to establish 24 penal colonies on the territory of the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk “people’s republics” (“LDPR”), and the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, as per the official website of legal information of Russia.
Twelve colonies will be established in the self-proclaimed “DPR”, seven in the self-proclaimed “LPR”, three in the Kherson region, and two in the Zaporizhzhia region.
Furthermore, medical correctional institutions and correctional centres will be created in the annexed regions.
Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service will be acting as the responsible party. The service has to register the new institutions within the next three months.
On 17 January, Russia’s Ministry of Justice proposed to ease the conditions of detainees held in pre-trial detention centres. In particular, there are suggestions to introduce a procedure of getting rid of the “malicious distributor” status, to increase the amount of money detainees are allowed to spend on food and essential items, as well as increase the age of children allowed to stay with their mothers in detention centres to four years old.
Human rights defenders think that these suggestions will not lead to tangible results.