Russian politicians call for reinstatement of death penalty

Russian politicians call for reinstatement of death penalty
Vladimir Vasilyev speaks about reinstatement of death penalty following the attack at Crocus City Hall / DUMA TV
By bne IntelliNews March 24, 2024

Senior politicians in Russia are advocating for the reinstatement of the death penalty following the terrorist attack on Moscow’s Crocus City Hall on March 22.

The moratorium on capital punishment in Russia dates back to the 1990s when Russia joined the Council of Europe. Abolishing the death penalty is a requirement for joining this organisation. However, according to Russian law, the death sentence is still legal but has simply been paused. Some lawmakers are now calling for the moratorium to end. 

In the aftermath of what is now considered the deadliest attack in the country in two decades, voices close to President Vladimir Putin are growing louder in their calls to lift it. 

One of those voices was Vladimir Vasilyev, the head of the ruling United Russia party in the State Duma, who noted that the topic of the death penalty had now come to the surface again. 

“This topic will definitely be deeply, professionally and substantively studied. And a decision will be made that will meet the moods and expectations of our society,” he said in a statement. 

Others who spoke out about the end of the moratorium include Yury Afonin, deputy head of the State Duma's security committee, State Duma Deputy Andrei Gurulev and Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin.

Former President Dmitry Medvedev also spoke out in favour of reinstating capital punishment, writing on Twitter: “Terrorists understand only retaliatory terror. No trials or investigations will help if force is not countered by force and deaths by total executions of terrorists and repressions against their families.”

The attack on the Crocus City Hall concert hall resulted in the loss of over 130 lives. Two of the suspects arrested for the attack, Saidakrami Murodalii Rachabalizoda and Dalerdjon Barotovich Mirzoyev, have already been seen in court, facing charges of a "terror attack committed by a group of individuals resulting in a person's death.”