MOSCOW, April 23 (RAPSI) – Members of the Presidential Council for Human Rights plan to turn to the Supreme Court of Russia with the request to recommend courts to extend the practice of releases on parole during the coronavirus pandemic, the advisory body’s press service reports Thursday.

Earlier, the body’s standing commission on NGO Assisting, penitentiary system reforming and crime prevention held a meeting as part of which the Sverdlovsk Region ombudsman and the human rights council’s member Tatiana Merzlyakova reported measures taken in the region to prevent the spread of coronavirus in penitentiary facilities.

Thus, according to the regional ombudsman, the procedure of release of seriously ill convivts was accelerated.

Moreover, courts supported by prosecutors applied release on parole more often than earlier, she said.

In turn the Council’s member Andrey Babushkin stated that the Council earlier voiced its opinion that courts need to resume hearings on paroles, mitigating of punishments and transfers to corrective labor in order to bar riots in detention facilities.

Among the measures members of the Council proposed to prevent further riots are those ensuring convicts could have access to video and telephone communications, extending a special mail system to some regional penitentiary establishments, and permitting those serving terms in penal settlements to reside in residential areas of the locations such settlements are situated in.

The Council also insisted the penitentiary establishments were to be obliged to publish data on actual numbers of convicts, available places and the limits on their respective capacities; on salaries, among those paid from the state budget, as well as information on the number and types of incentives and penalties given to convicts.