Russia | Facial recognition cameras for tracking draft evaders – Life imprisonment for those convicted of high treason
Defence Redefined
Published on 19/04/2023 at 08:15

Moscow authorities are using the extensive system of facial recognition cameras to track down young draft evaders, state news agency TASS reported, citing the head of the city’s recruitment agency.

President Vladimir Putin signed a law last week that tightens restrictions on draft evaders and requires that conscription documents be sent electronically, rather than delivered in person at the local military office or through an officer.

The measures will make life harder for thousands of men aged 18-27 who, every spring and autumn, do everything they can to avoid conscription officers trying to force them to enlist for their 12-month mandatory military service as well as those who are being called up to serve in Ukraine as part of the mobilization announced last year.

In 2017, Moscow’s Information Technology Service announced that over 3,000 surveillance cameras in the city have been connected to a facial recognition system.

Also read: Russia | E-recruitment call-ups from now on

Russian lawmakers gave the green light yesterday to reintroduce life sentences for those convicted of treason as part of a concerted campaign after Moscow invaded Ukraine to toughen the punishment of dissidents and of those considered traitors.

Russia’s lower house, the State Duma, also approved increasing maximum sentences for a range of terrorism and sabotage offenses and introduced a new law that punishes those who help enforce legal decisions of international organizations, which do not include Russia, with imprisonment that reaches a five-year period.

The move is a direct response to the International Criminal Court issuing an arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin last month in connection with transporting Ukrainian children to Russia.

The amendments, which must be approved by Russia’s upper house, the Federation Council, before being signed by Putin and coming into legal force, come as human rights groups say Russian authorities are intensifying their campaign to crack down on the few remaining dissident voices in the country.

The previous maximum sentence for treason was 20 years.

Last Monday Moscow’s court sentenced opposition political activist Vladimir Kara-Murza to 25 years in prison on treason and other charges, the harshest sentence handed down to a Kremlin critic since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

Russia says such laws are necessary to protect the country from intrusion by Ukrainian and Western intelligence agencies.

Also read: Black Sea Summit in Bucharest with the participation of Ukraine, Romania and Moldova




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