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How can prisoners released by militants legalize themselves in Ukraine?

How can prisoners released by militants legalize themselves in Ukraine?

Journalists of “Donetsk Dialogue”, a program on Donbas Public TV, have found out what the situation is in prisons on the occupied territory of the Donbas and how prisoners could be amnestied if they were released by “L-DPR” representatives ahead of time.

The situation in penitential service in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions is not simple, to say it mildly. Some prisons are left on the occupied territory.

There are lots of myths about prisoners who are released in exchange for participating in the hostilities. What such people should do if they want to live in Ukraine and if they have corresponding papers issued by “L-DPR” groupings? Lawyers say that prisoners have the right to do legalize themselves.

“A lot of people who were released in “DPR” are worrying that they may be arrested on the territory of Ukraine. I would like to recommend them not to worry. It may happen, but as a rule it does not. In fact, the release of prisoners by “DPR” is illegal as it was not the decision of the Ukrainian court. However, as a rule, “DPR” releases those prisoners who meet the requirements for the grant of parole. So, if those people were on the territory of Ukraine, they would be released by Ukrainian courts. That is what I recommend the people: come to the Ukrainian territory and legalize ourselves”, says lawyer Tetyana Ivanova.

The opportunity was used by more than 10 people, as Alla Smalk, cheif of the penitentiary service sector, says. The main requirement is to observe all the criteria of Ukrainian legislation.

“More people apply to us. In June a decree was adopted and signed by the regional prosecutor's office, the Security Service of Ukraine, the Migration Service, the Interior, and, of course, the  Penitentiary Service. The instruction was worked out which regulates the procedure of such people's registration and issuing respective documents. As far as our penitentiary service is concerned, if former prisoners apply to us, we issue certificates signed by our administration and sealed with the seal of Ukraine. Then we forward the people to the police to be registered, we ask courts which tried them for their sentences. We explain to them that under Articles 537 and 539 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine their release by “DPR” courts was illegal. They should confirm that they were released on the basis of Article 81 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, i.e. on the grant of parole”, explains Alla Smal, chief of the department of supervision of court decision execution.

However, what I have said refers to those who did not bear arms and has not committed any crimes.

“If, after the release, former prisoners stayed on the territory of the ATO and committed other crimes: separatism, terrorism, murder, looting they may be sentenced under the corresponding articles”, says Tetyana Ivanova.

There is a paradox when one cannot leave the territory, but it is possible to cross the border that if there are no corresponding documents.

“It is really difficult for those people to cross the border because they have no papers, and it often happens they have no passports, and when they cross the border they should prove their identity”, explains Tetyana Ivanova.

The problem of social adaptation to the conditions of normal life of the person released from prison is closely connected with crime recidivism. To some degree, the society itself causes recidivism. For example, it does not provide employment. Another factor which causes crimes is alcohol addiction of the former prisoners. Now there are extra problems which are connected with the violation of former prisoners' rights in conditions of war.

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