#10 - JRL 2009-227 - JRL Home
Russian Penitentiary System Requires Fundamental Change - Human Rights Activists

MOSCOW. Dec 11 (Interfax) - Human rights activists believe that dismissals in the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) are insufficient to improve the situation and that an overhaul of the penitentiary system is required.

"We insisted on the dismissals but the system itself has to be changed," Lyudmila Alekseyeva, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, Russia's oldest independent human rights organization, told Interfax on Friday.

"As far as I know the new head of FSIN has ideas about fundamentally rebuilding the existing system of corrective institutions and I hope we will be working on that together," she said.

"The atmosphere of the penitentiary system must be changed. Now it is worse than in the last years of Soviet power. This system is working to crush and suppress the individual. And after serving one's sentence a person does not return as a regular member of society, he returns fully crushed," she said.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on December 4 dismissed several high-ranking FSIN officials, namely head of its HR department, head of the escort and transportation department, head of the medical department and head of the training department.

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