Russian Prisoners Increasingly Denied Parole Amid War Recruitment Efforts

Russian prisoners are increasingly denied parole amid efforts by the Wagner mercenary group and later the Defense Ministry to recruit convicts for the war in Ukraine, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper reported Thursday.

Only 23,000 requests for conditional early release (CER) were granted in 2022 out of nearly 59,000 requests reviewed by courts, according to judicial statistics from the Russian Supreme Court cited by Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

“Over 12,000 requests were withdrawn, transferred to another jurisdiction or discontinued,” the report from the Supreme Court said.

Only 39% of prisoners who applied for CER were granted it in 2022, one of the lowest rates in two decades of record-keeping.

This compares to 80-90% of such requests granted in 2004-2005 and 57% of requests granted in 2010.

The courts’ decisions to deny CER were motivated by convicts’ failure to demonstrate good behavior or lack of sufficient encouragement from prison staff, according to Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

“The absence of criteria for determining the degree of a convict’s reform allows the courts and correctional institutions to abuse individuals’ right to CER,” Yekaterina Tyutyunnikova, a lawyer at the CentryurService firm, told the newspaper.

Depress yourself further here