Thursday, September 22, 2011

Justice Minister: Russian Penitentiary System Reminiscent of GULAG

Russia’s Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov stated that the Russian penitentiary system is “enormously archaic.” According to the official, the system “carries many features reminiscent of the GULAG times and perhaps even of the pre-revolutionary katorga [penal servitude].” “We have a cumbersome, costly, crime-reproducing penal system, carrying systemic risks for the country’s security,” Konovalov stated. His revelations are especially remarkable given that his ministry is responsible for the penitentiary system, and he has headed the ministry for some three years.

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