Civic Chamber reminded of remand centres’ problems

16 February 2015

On 16 February, President of the Civic Chamber Alexander Brechalov sent an official letter of appeal to President of Russia Vladimir Putin drawing his attention to the problem of remand centres in Russia. The letter says about a dramatic increase in the number of detainees in remand facilities and disastrous conditions of custody.

The basic causes of the situation named are, on the one hand, unreasonably high requirements of investigative bodies, while on the other hand, the court rulings upholding more than 90 percent of all investigator’s claims for custody.

The current legislative norms enable groundless mass taking of suspects into custody. According to Mr Brechalov, the situation requires immediate response, since a lot of people accused of minor offences are in custody at present.

The Civic Chamber of Russia has drawn up an expert opinion related to the draft law On Amendments to the Criminal-Procedural Code of the Russian Federation and Article 49 of the Federal Law On Custody of People Suspected or Accused of Committing Crimes (on powers of the prosecutor in the process of imposing restraint in the form of custody).

Earlier, Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia Ella Pamfilova had repeatedly spoken of the need to amend the effective Criminal-Procedural Code of Russia.

The President of the Civic Chamber asked the President of Russia to instruct the corresponding authorities to consider the draft law to adopt it as soon as possible, since it would "correspond to implementation of the highest principles of humanity and human rights protection".

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