Prosecutor General says restrictions on prison visiting times are illegal


As reported here, in May 2007 the Head of the State Department for the Execution of Sentences [the Department] issued an instruction limiting access to penal institutions by civic organizations and journalists to certain times at the weekend.

This clearly made work carried out by civic organizations much more difficult and restricted the legal, psychological and other assistance they could give prisoners. It also rendered virtually impossible any real control by the public over what goes on in penal institutions. 

The Head of Donetsk Memorial Oleksandr Bukalov sent a letter of complaint to the Department but was told that the newly imposed restrictions were in order to establish order with regard to access by these groups to penal institutions, and to not distract penal institution employees from their duties.

Oleksandr Bukalov was therefore forced to approach the Prosecutor General. The latter has looked into the situation regarding the Instruction and found it to be unlawful.  He has sent a letter to the Head of the Department calling for the infringement of the law to be rectified.

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