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‘Barrier to extremist ideology’: Russian prisons to isolate terrorists from other inmates

‘Barrier to extremist ideology’: Russian prisons to isolate terrorists from other inmates
Terrorists and extremists will be kept separately from other inmates in Russian prisons to avoid recruitment and spread of radical views among the convicts, according to the legislative amendments supported by the State Duma.

Previously, those, sentenced for terrorist and extremist crimes could have been placed in various types of correctional institutions, including 'soft' general regime colonies. But the MPs behind the draft law, which was approved in the first reading on Tuesday, believed it to be a dangerous practice.

In colony settlements, “the convicts are kept in brigades and are able to communicate with a significant number of people, which still allows the spread of extremist ideology,” Pavel Krasheninnikov of the ruling United Russia Party said.

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The amendments to the Criminal and Penal Codes call for terrorism and extremism to be included on the list of grievous crimes that carry sentences served in prisons, but not in colonies.

“In prisons, people are held in small cells and are isolated from other inmates,” Krasheninnikov pointed out.

In order to stifle the extremist cells that are being formed behind bars, the Federal Penal Correction Service will be given the power to relocate to other prison institutions any inmates that promote radical ideas.

“We’re erecting another barrier to propaganda of extremist and terrorist ideology,”Adalbi Shkhagoev, United Russia MP, said.

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The MPs prepared the draft after Vladimir Putin spoke, in late October, of the need to separate terrorists and extremists from other inmates to avoid their radicalization

The idea was supported by the Russian Orthodox Church, with its spokesman calling terrorism“an infectious disease,”which shouldn’t be allowed to contaminate prisoners as they may stage attacks after gaining freedom.

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