KYIV (QHA) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has signed the law amending the Penal Code of Ukraine proposing to create more comfortable conditions for prisoners in Ukraine, the president's press service announced on Friday, Interfax-Ukraine reports. The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, passed the law on September 5. The document is one of the EU integration laws that need to be adopted to enable the signing of the Ukraine's Association Agreement with the European Union, and is the first of them adopted by the Ukrainian parliament this session. Under this law, convicts held in rehabilitation centers are allowed to wear civilian clothes, and use mobile phones and related accessories. The law also foresees the possibility of the submission by a criminal executive inspectorate to commute the sentence of a convict sentenced to hard labor, replacing time not served with a fine. It also regulates the procedure for granting long meetings to prisoners, with convicts being granted the right to have an extraordinary long meeting for the registration of a marriage. In addition, the law foresees the transfer of those sentenced to life imprisonment, who have served 20 years of punishment in prison cells, to common residential buildings in maximum security prisons and keeping them among other prisoners. As reported, the law also stipulates that prisoners who are held in penal colonies with a minimum level of security and facilitated detention conditions, may be granted short-term visits outside the colony within Ukrainian territory.

QHA