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Bill Proposing Forced Prison Labor on Construction Sites Submitted to Russian Duma

A draft bill proposing the use of prison laborers on large construction sites has been submitted to the Russian State Duma, the Meduza news agency reported Friday.

If approved, the bill would authorize the "creation of additional isolated areas outside main penal colonies." It would allow convict workers to be housed away from the main prison at sites such as large construction projects.

The bill, submitted by deputies from the northern Komi republic, aims to promote forced labor as a criminal punishment by expanding its use at minimum cost, the explanatory note reads.

A similar bill that proposed the use of convicts in the construction of the 2018 World Cup stadiums was submitted last month by State Duma deputy Alexander Khinshtein, the Kommersant newspaper reported.

Prison labor was used extensively in the Soviet Union, with prisoners involved in the construction of almost all major industrial and transport facilities.

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