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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Minister Proposes Prison Amnesty

Justice Minister Pavel Krasheninnikov on Tuesday proposed a broad amnesty and other steps intended to improve brutal conditions in Russia's decrepit and overcrowded prisons.

The amnesty, which is subject to parliamentary approval, would free more than 100,000 people, or every 10th inmate, this fall, Krasheninnikov said at a news conference.

It would apply to those facing charges or convicted of minor and unpremeditated offenses, he said.

Russia has the world's highest incarceration rate, and a long history of brutal prisons and labor camps that date to tsarist times but were greatly expanded under the Soviet regime.

Virtually all of them are rundown and overcrowded, with some cells holding more than 100 inmates. Officials acknowledge that malnutrition, infections, violence among inmates and a tuberculosis rate five times the national average plague the prison system.