Russia Reportedly to Release "Economic Criminals" in a Bid to Improve the Economy

Discussion in 'The Russian Economy' started by Hero of Crappy Town, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. Hero of Crappy Town

    Hero of Crappy Town Collegiate Registrar (14th class)

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    4
    The story here:
    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/russia-stimulus-plan-open-gulag-022914463.html

    Excerpt:
    "More than 110,000 people are serving time for what Russia calls “economic crimes,” out of a population of about three million self-employed people and owners of small and medium-size businesses. An additional 2,500 are in jails awaiting trial for this class of crimes that includes fraud, but can also include embezzlement, counterfeiting and tax evasion.
    "

    I wonder of the 110,000 people imprisoned for "economic crimes", what proportion would be for not paying taxes? A majority or minority? Any ideas?
  2. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    55
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    See: Юриспруденция


    Federal Law of December 7, 2011 N 420-FZ "On Amendments to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation" <1> in the general part of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (hereinafter - CC), a new provision providing for a special exemption from the base criminal responsibility for crimes committed in the area of ​​economic activity (Article 76.1 of the Criminal Code). The need for the introduction of such a rule is long overdue, its technical and legal parameters were actively discussed in the scientific literature <2>, in addition, the speedy passage of the bill was caused by the fact that it was initiated by the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation.

    See also: 350 Businessmen to be released from Russian Jails...
  3. Hero of Crappy Town

    Hero of Crappy Town Collegiate Registrar (14th class)

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    4
    From the text: "Altogether around 3,000 people could be set free from offenses of money laundering, tax and loan evasion, loan and business fraud, copyright law infringement, illegal entrepreneurship, and other ‘minor’ offenses under 27 different articles of the Criminal Code, Ria Novosti quotes Garri Minkh."

    That is good. Tax evasion, copyright infringement, "illegal entrepreneurship" and possibly more are all non-crimes. And it is obviously economically destructive to lock up "illegal entrepreneurs" when they could be out creating wealth.
  4. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    55
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    Hero of Crappy Town said: "That is good. Tax evasion, copyright infringement, 'illegal entrepreneurship' and possibly more are all non-crimes. And it is obviously economically destructive to lock up 'illegal entrepreneurs' when they could be out creating wealth."

    Why do you consider tax evasion to be a non-crime? Do you think it is perfectly acceptable to enjoy the security afforded by the state military and law agencies, the provision of utilities such as communal central heating and sewage disposal, the use of highways without having to pay tolls, the provision of emergency and public health services any many other social amenities that have to paid for out of the public purse without having to make any contribution towards the immense costs involved?

    Do you believe that copyright infringement is not theft, that there is no such thing as intellectual property rights, that it is not a criminal act to use somebody else's idea, an idea that has been legally recognized as belonging to someone, and to make money from that idea without compensating the creator of said idea?

    Illegal entrepreneurs by definition are those that operate illegally, such as one that operates unregistered on the bottom floor of my block: no signs outside, no legally binding responsibilities as regards liabilities, little or no tax paid and very likely no protection for its employees both as regards the possibility of their being exploited and their health and safety at their workplace.

    So everything is just hunky-dory as long as the illegal entrepreneurs create wealth, albeit that that wealth is principally for themselves, the argument being that the so-called trickle-down effect will ensure that some crumbs will fall off the table of excess?
  5. AKarlin

    AKarlin Generalissimo Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2013
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    39
    [​IMG]

    I should probably add some words here, so as to avoid making this into 4chan.

    Its not really a big secret that many Russian businessmen are imprisoned on trumped up charges by raiders within the security services or at the behest of bigger businessmen who pay off judges. So there are some arguments for some kind of economic crimes amnesty.

    Personally I have no strong opinions one way or another.
  6. Hero of Crappy Town

    Hero of Crappy Town Collegiate Registrar (14th class)

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    4
    I don't think the state has the right to monopolize these functions for itself. I'd be happy to pay for these services to competing private providers instead or make due on my own, but I am denied the opportunity by the force of the state. Also who decides what is the right price for the services I receive? They first dictate what services we shall receive, and then they dictate how much we will pay for them. But what if we believe we're being sheared? There is not even an opt-out. Sorry but if I had a chance I would rather not play and I salute anyone who doesn't.

    Problem with IP is that it makes into "property" something that is not scarce. If I steal your car, then I have your car, but you no longer do. If I steal your idea, then I have your idea, but so do you. I have not deprived you of anything, I left you with as much property as you had before.

    In reality IP can not be enforced without violating actually existing property rights.

    If my neighbor's nephew who is a trained, but unemployed hairdresser comes over to trim my hair, and I pay her and she does that a few times for different neighbors, then she is an "illegal entrepreneur". Yet I can't see that she's violating anyone's property rights, so where is the crime?

    I don't know anything about any "trickle-down effect", what is that? The argument is that if I patronize a certain "illegal entrepreneur" then in fact I believe that in making an exchange with him I am left better off than I was otherwise. The entrepreneur makes himself better off, but also his customers. If our neighborhood hairdresser gets locked up, the whole block will be worse off as we'll have to pay more to get a haircut at a saloon and we'll either have less money for other things in life, or else have to take fewer haircuts and look more unkempt on average, or have to pick up cutting hair ourselves and have less time for other things.

    I don't know who you think was being sarcastic.
  7. AKarlin

    AKarlin Generalissimo Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2013
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    39
    This:

    Sounded exceedingly sarcastic to me.


    If not, then wow. Though now I consider it makes sense as I had forgotten you were a libertarian.
  8. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    55
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    So I wonder when in the USA the defence of the nation and the maintenance of the status quo pro ante as regards US world hegemony will be open to tender from entrepreneurs? It would certainly cut the federal tax burden if US fleets, for example, were operated by private enterprise, or would it?

    Surely private enterprise already provides the bulk of weapons systems that US federal taxation pays for?

    Would privately operated law enforcement agencies be more efficient than the present US city, state and federal policing system? And what about the privately operated correctional institutions that are becoming widespread in the US? Are they more cost effective than their corresponding federal and state institutions?

    Surely these privately run institutions operate to make a profit, for why else should an entrepreneurial organization undertake the construction, staffing and operation of these privately run prisons - to relieve the tax burden on US citizens; or is the allegedly increased profit making potential of such institutions held to be concomitant with lower operating costs and, therefore, lower state or, as the case may be, federal taxation?
  9. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    55
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia

    What does "4chan" mean?
  10. Hero of Crappy Town

    Hero of Crappy Town Collegiate Registrar (14th class)

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    4
    I don't know why you're asking me this, why exactly should I of all people, be answering questions on the US in a Russian economy subforum? It seems that beside placing words in my mouth ("trickle down effect") you're also making unwarranted assumptions about me, neither of which is very polite. I am not an American, in fact unlike you I am not even a Westerner. But yes, I believe anyone would benefit from abolishing the state they're under, Americans included, so they would be well advised to do so. And no, anarcho-America wouldn't operate giant fleets to dominate the seas with, that's a silly proposition as it's not profitable on the market to do so.

    What does this have to do with me? I hold taxation is extortion and theft, and you challenge me by mentioning examples of so called "public-private partnership". But such companies would fold over night in a system where there is no taxation. It seems to me it is rather you — who is standing up for taxations and the state — who has to answer for such abominable development as private prisons contracted by the state and paid for their services to the state with extorted tax money.
  11. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    55
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    A rather sensitive person, are you not? I was not "trying to put words into your mouth" at all. Nowhere in my previous posting did I imply that what I wrote, you had said or suggested. Do you mean that by my using in my last post the USA as an example, I was implying that you are a US citizen? If that is the case, surely it is a non sequitur. In my last post I simply used the state that enjoys the world's largest economy as an example and, furthermore, that state where low taxation and minimal state involvement in the affairs of its citizens is held by many of said citizens to be the most desirable of options.

    So as not to offend your sensibilities, I shall rephrase my question:


    So I wonder when in any advanced industrialised state the defence of that nation will be open to tender from entrepreneurs? It would certainly cut the citizens' tax burden if the French or Japanese fleets, for example, were operated by private enterprise, or wouldn't it? (Note: I've used a non-Western state as an example so as not to upset you.)

    Surely private enterprise already provides the bulk of weapons systems that taxes pay for?

    Would privately operated law enforcement agencies in those states be more efficient than their present city, regional or, as the case may be, national policing systems? And what about the privately operated correctional institutions that are becoming widespread in the some countries? Are they more cost effective than their corresponding state institutions?

    Surely these privately run institutions operate to make a profit, for why else should an entrepreneurial organization undertake the construction, staffing and operation of these privately run prisons - to relieve the tax burden on citizens; or is the allegedly increased profit making potential of such institutions held to be concomitant with lower operating costs and, therefore, lower state or, as the case may be, federal taxation?

    You say that taxation is theft. Do you believe that without the security afforded you by state law agencies and national defence that you would be able to earn the income that you at present enjoy and keep it, bank it, dispose of it as you will, or do you think that in the absence of state security and policing, that banditry, extortion and exploitation would perhaps be rife.

    Libertarians claim that taxation is theft because it takes property from the unwilling. Is this true of democracies? Sorry for referring to the USA again, but does not the exhortation: "No taxation without representation" ring a bell?

    Do you not believe that in democracies the consent of the electorate is paramount as regards taxation, or do you believe that taxes are arbitrary impositions decreed by faceless government bureaucrats or tyrants?




    May I suggest you peruse this essay: Myth: Taxes are theft.
  12. Hero of Crappy Town

    Hero of Crappy Town Collegiate Registrar (14th class)

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    4
    I don't know. I don't have a crystal ball. What makes you think I do?

    "Already"? What is this in reference to? Have I claimed this not to be the case?

    I don't know, do privately owned bakeries do a better job at providing affordable bread, or would we do better by having the state monopolize bread baking? Are state-monopolies in general more efficient at providing affordable and abundant goods and services, or is it the case that we receive the most when each and every one of us can individually freely choose between competing suppliers? You tell me.

    Is this a joke? Obviously those are some of the most abhorrent and wasteful enterprises out there. But these are political enterprises. They win contracts from the state. They do not compete for customers in the market, and do not seek private customers. They only have one customer, the government, and they compete for its contracts in its lobbying halls.

    They have extremely little incentive to keep their costs down, as their profit margin is mostly dependent on their ability to lobby, which is mostly a function of their aptitude at "greasing the wheels". This even means that they provide extremely poor service to their customer (the state), since again, their ability to win more contracts has primarily to do with their skill at bribing individual politicians, rather than satisfying the state as a whole.

    With a hypothetical abolishing of the state and the ushering in of market anarchy such enterprises would cease to exit. It is the democratic system which you uphold that makes such abominations possible. Privately-run prisons, Blackwater mercenaries, corporate welfare... that is all on you friend, not me.

    Aren't I fortunate, being asked to answer such "open-ended" questions. Look, if you want to say something, say it. Don't hide behind a supposed "question".

    Yes they run to make a profit. And no, their being profit-seeking organizations does not do anything to keep the taxes down. Again, when I say I want to be able to chose from different private suppliers that means I want to be able to chose from different private suppliers. It doesn't mean I want a fat cat in a suit to extort my wages from me, and then make a choice as to where that money goes afterwards. After he has taken my money from me there are no longer any good scenarios, they're all bad.

    Again, political enterprises have little incentive to keep their operating costs down. Also as they become more affluent they have even more means to "grease the wheels" with and so eventually more and more contracts are drawn up by greased politicians for them, whether there is a need for the (shoddy) product they offer or not, that is, mainly just for the sake of funneling funds to these enterprises. Particularly in the long term they are a dangerous and insidious blight that can suck the life of even the most prosperous country.

    Also since they are contracted by the state, it is in fact the state whose interest they only mind and serve (poorly as they do) beside their own. Would you propose private correctional facilities are there to serve the thousands of non-criminals unjustly imprisoned for vice and other victimless "crime", or are they there to serve the state which unjustly imprisons them? Would you say the presence of Blackwater in occupied Iraq benefitied the American, or even the Iraqi taxpayer? Or were the security contractors there in fact only for the sake of the American state, but presented no service, only expense and atrocity for regular Americans and Iraqis?

    I think I'm better off with the security arranged for me by me, rather than with the security arranged for me by my tormentors. That way, the likelihood this security will actually work to defend me rather than to attack me is much greater.

    They are rife right now. I'm stripped of 70% of what I earn.

    Of course it is, the very existence of imprisoned tax evaders and tax resistors, as well as of various penalties on the books for not coughing up is proof enough the state itself is aware it is engaged in extortion and that many would rather not pay, but for threatened violence against them.

    So what, I don't vote and neither do 40-45% of other eligible voters. Also there can be many motives for voting, from tactical reasons to entertainment. It does not have to imply an across-the-board endorsement of the entire democratic system and its fairy-tales. The Nazis took part in elections, but that did not mean they bought into the Weimar "social contract" did it?

    An other open-ended OR-OR question. What I believe is that I yet have to observe an actual democracy. When you see one let me know.

    ______________________

    You ask a lot of convoluted questions with which it is clear you are actually trying to make some kind of a point, or else to lead me somewhere. But at the same time it is obvious you do not even know what positions I hold, or what these imply. That being the case, you would have been better served if, before jumping in to score points against me, you had taken the time to ask a few concise, open-ended questions that would let you know where I actually stand. Right now some of the questions you posit may look very clever to you, but they're nothing but mind-numbing to me, as you challenge me to offer a defense of what I oppose with far more conviction and passion than you.
  13. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    55
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    I fail to see how you deem my questions to be "convoluted".

    You say that I do not know the positions you hold. That is true. Do you not think that is why I have asked you questions?

    You say that taxation is theft.

    I asked if you supported the idea that private enterprise run national defence and policing. You evade answering either yes or no.

    You avow that you have no desire to pay tax, that tax is state organized theft. If you wish that your nation be defended and policed by the state, then who pays for this? All the other fools who pay tax, but not you? Or are you willing to contribute to national defence costs and policing, in other words, be eligible for taxation by the state?

    In short, do you wish to belong to a club called "society" and enjoy its advantages but not pay the club dues. If the answer to this question is "yes", then why do you wish that to be the case? Furthermore, if national defence and policing are paid by the state or, as the case may be, by local authorities, how do you wish these services to be financed if not by taxation?

    Why do you address me as "friend"?

    Those last three questions are open-ended ones.
  14. Patrick Armstrong

    Patrick Armstrong Commissar

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ottawa
    Why don't we all calm down.
    This is not repeat not La Russophobe's hogwallow.
  15. Hero of Crappy Town

    Hero of Crappy Town Collegiate Registrar (14th class)

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    4
    No I do not. I am opposed to the very idea of national defense and national policing. I do not care if it is wholly state-run, or if is contracted out by the state to private contractors. As it should be long clear by now, I oppose either variants and see them as equally statist and unacceptable.

    I do not wish that my nation be defended and policed by the state. I wish my nation to free itself from the aggression of the state.

    If the need arises I am willing to risk my life for my people in a dangerous war of my own accord, as well as contribute my means out of my free will. I am not willing to give sustenance to the state.

    No, I want to free society from the parasite on its body that is the state.

    I favor the abolishing of local authorities same as of central authorities. Defense for the people in anarchy is provided the same way their sustenance is. They organize to provide for it on their own. Famine can be potentially as disastrous for a given people as a foreign invasion, yet few would propose that it is therefore necessary to nationalize the growing and the distributing of food. In fact (Soviet) history has shown that that is exactly when disaster is the most likely to strike. If you want everyone to be well-fed keep the state and its apparatus of coercion the hell away from the individual producers and the society's chosen means of peacefully distributing the produce. I propose the same for defense. Let the consumers of security negotiate and contract with the producers of security as equals, without coercion on the part of those with tax-purchased guns against those they are supposedly there to "serve" and "defend". The quality of service the consumers of security (the people) are likely to receive in such conditions can not but increase.

    It's mainly there for style, but I do know you from the Kremlin Stooge discussions, even if you seemingly no longer recall me.
  16. Philip Owen

    Philip Owen Office Registrar (13th class)

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    10
    Gender:
    Male
    In the Russian situation, a lot of these people were ignorant of the correct procedures, a lot more thought "everybody else is doing it". The appropriate punishment for first offences in such situations is a fine or attendance, at the offender's expense at training courses relevant to the regulations broken. Having imprisonment as the only punishment (as too often in Russia) is too harsh, too soon.
  17. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    55
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    140 Set Free Under Russian Economic Amnesty

    MOSCOW, August 27 (Itar-Tass) - The Federal Penitentiary Service /FSIN/ said more than 140 people have been set free under the six-month amnesty for economic crimes.

    "These include 86 persons on file at FSIN inspectorates, 16 persons who were serving their sentences in prisons and 41 economic crime suspects kept in pre-trial detention centres," the FSIN said on Tuesday.

    The amnesty for certain economic crimes was announced by the State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament on July 2. It is in effect for six months.

    http://www.itar-tass.com/c154/854700.html
  18. José Moreira

    José Moreira High Commissar Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    17
    Gender:
    Male
  19. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    55
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    From this article of last July:

    АМНИСТИЯ 2013 ГОДА В РОССИИ: ПОСЛЕДНИЕ НОВОСТИ, КАКИЕ СТАТЬИ ПОПАДАЮТ

    [Russian Amnesty 2013: Latest News, Who Is Affected]




    По данным бизнес-омбудсмена Бориса Титова, сейчас в тюрьмах находится более 13 тысяч человек, попавших туда по экономическим статьям.

    "Я думаю, что освобождаться будут только предприниматели, то есть те, которые были осуждены в результате предпринимательской деятельности, а это где-то две третьих. Кроме этого, не будут освобождаться те, кто неоднократно совершил преступления по экономическим статьям. Думаю, это еще примерно 20% от этого числа", - отметил Титов.

    По мнению представителя президента РФ в Госдуме Гарри Минха, на свободе могут оказаться до 3 тысяч человек.

    "По линии МВД - речь идет о дознании и предварительном расследовании - подлежат прекращению потенциально 1299 уголовных дел, из них 985 в производстве, 314 приостановлено. Число подозреваемых, которые могут быть освобождены (по этим делам) - 1280 человек", - заявил Минх.

    В свою очередь, по данным ФСИН, под амнистию попадают 180 лиц, находящихся в исправительных учреждениях, ещё 160 человек, содержащихся в СИЗО, и 1350 человек, которые состоят на учете в уголовно-исполнительных инспекциях.



    According to business ombudsman Boris Titov, there are now in prison more than 13 thousand who have been convicted for economic crimes .

    "I think only entrepreneurs will be released, that is, those who have been convicted as a result of entrepreneurial activity, and that's somewhere around two-thirds of them. In addition, those who have repeatedly committed economic crimes will not be exempt. I guess that's approximately 20 % of this number", said Titov.

    According to the President's representative in the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Harry Minkha, up to three thousand people may be freed.

    "The line that the Ministry of Internal Affairs is taking - we are talking about inquests and preliminary investigations - is that there are potentially 1,299 of criminal cases subject to termination: 985 cases that have resulted in a custodial sentence and 314 suspended sentences. The number of suspects who may be released (in these cases) comes to 1,280 people", said Minkha.

    According to Federal Penitentiary Service data, there are also 180 persons in correctional facilities, another 160 people who are held in remand centres and 1,350 persons who are registered by the penal inspectorate who fall within the terms of the amnesty.
  20. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    55
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    With regards to the amnesty in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the drawing up of the Russian Constitution, this article, "СКАЗКИ ОБ АМНИСТИИ" [Amnesty Fairy Tales], says:

    Цифры предполагаемого количества амнистированных разнятся самым невероятным образом. Член Совета по правам человека Даниил Дондурей говорит, что по амнистии предлагается освободить 26 тысяч человек. По оценкам члена СПЧ Кирилла Кабанова, по амнистии смогут выйти на свободу до 25 процентов заключенных. Общее количество заключенных в России в настоящее время составляет около 700 тыс. человек. Сколько из них реально выйдет на свободу, сейчас невозможно даже предположить. Тому есть две причины.

    Причина первая. Законопроект, представленный Советом по правам человека, далеко не окончательный. Сначала его помучают все заинтересованные департаменты президентской администрации. Потом подкорректирует президент. Когда он поступит в Госдуму, его дополнительно поправит профильный комитет. Депутаты внесут свои поправки. Причем на всех стадиях обработки; в соответствии с устоявшимися правилами законопроект будет только ужесточаться. Многие преступления и категории осужденных из-под амнистии будут выведены. Можно предположить, что в конце концов получится из «широкой амнистии».

    Но есть и вторая причина. О ней никто не говорит, хотя она гораздо существеннее первой. До сих пор все амнистии (и это еще советская традиция) не распространялись на нарушителей режима содержания. Либо в самом тексте закона об амнистии, либо в сопровождающем постановлении о порядке ее применения обычно содержится норма, препятствующая освобождению заключенных, имеющих непогашенные взыскания. И это фильтр гораздо более серьезный, чем все остальные. Одно взыскание за незастегнутую пуговицу или неаккуратно заправленную кровать — и амнистия становится недосягаемой. Поэтому под амнистию попадают чаще всего помощники лагерной администрации или те, кто готов заплатить за свое освобождение кругленькую сумму. Амнистия — это редкий, но обильный источник коррупционных доходов для служителей тюремного ведомства.


    The proposed number of persons expected to be granted an amnesty differ in the most incredible way. Member of the Human Rights Council, Daniel Dondurei, says that it has been proposed that the amnesty be applied to 26,000 people. HRC member Kirill Kabanov expects that up to 25 percent of prisoners will be freed. The total number of prisoners in Russia currently stands at about 700 thousand people. How many of them will actually be released is not even possible to imagine right now. There are two reasons for this.

    The first reason is that the bill submitted by the Human Rights Council is not final . Firstly, it it is an issue of torment to all the concerned departments of the presidential administration. The bill will then have to be checked by the President. Then, when it is presented to the Duma, the bill will be further corrected by a relevant committee. Duma deputies will then contribute their amendments and, in accordance with established rules of law, this process of making amendments will only become more and more stringent and many crimes and categories of convicts under amnesty will be withdrawn. We can assume that in the end this amnesty will turn out to be a "broad" one.

    But there is another reason, about which no one speaks, although it is much more important than the first one. Up to now all amnesties (as in the Soviet tradition) have not been applicable to those who have committed offences against prison rules: either in the text of an amnesty legislation or in the accompanying decision to order its application there is typically a provision that prevents the release of prisoners who have been punished for offences against prison regulations. This filter is much more serious than the others. One penalty for sloppily buttoned clothes or an untidily made bed and an amnesty will not be applicable. Therefore an amnesty also affects members of the camp administration or those who are willing to pay for their liberation. An amnesty is rare, but it is an abundant source of income for corrupt prison administrators.

    [I feel that I should add that the journal from which this extract has been taken is notoriously - almost manically, I should say - "anti-regime", its editor's and journalists' loathing of the government and V.V. Putin being almost medically certifiable in its intensity.]

Share This Page