2021-12-29 11:14:00

Russia not to reinstate death penalty in coming years - Presidential Human Rights Council member

Moscow, December 29, Interfax - Death penalty may be reinstated in Russia only if the relevant moratorium is suspended, but that won't happen in the coming years, as Russia and other countries will not agree to that, Secretary of the Russian Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights Alexander Tochenov said.

"Countries of the so-called civilized world, to which Russia belongs, have signed an agreement on death penalty moratorium. Therefore, this may happen only in the case of moratorium suspension under certain circumstances. Anyway, I believe that won't happen in the coming years because Russia will not agree to that, Europe will not agree to that, and other countries will not support that either," Tochenov told Interfax on Wednesday.

There are other forms of punishment, such as life in jail, Tochenov said. "It works. It may be even worse [than death penalty]," he said.

Some crimes require harsh penalty, but people have no right to take other people's lives, Tochenov said. "We did not give life to a person, it is not for us to take it," he said.

Russian Constitutional Court Chairman Valery Zorkin said earlier that the death penalty discussion was closely linked to the legal situation in the country and expressed hope that Russia would not reinstate death penalty. At the same time, Zorkin did not rule out the eventual lifting of the death penalty moratorium in Russia.

A substantial part of Zorkin's book entitled Constitutional Justice: Procedure and Essence, which was published on the Constitutional Court website, is dedicated to death penalty.

"The fact that the Constitutional Court has made a decision that makes death penalty impossible in Russia at this particular historical stage of its development, does not rule out the possibility of reinstatement of such penalty in the future," Zorkin said. "As long as premeditated murders are committed, the death penalty question cannot be closed once and for all," he said.