MOSCOW — Russian authorities are keen to use prison labour to drive down the costs of holding the 2018 World Cup.
The Russian prison service is backing a bid by Alexander Khinshtein, a lawmaker from the ruling United Russia party, to allow prisoners to be taken from their camps to work at factories, with a focus on driving down the costs of building materials for World Cup projects.
“It’ll help in the sense that there will be the opportunity to acquire building materials for a lower price, lower than there is currently on the market,” Khinshtein told The Associated Press. “And apart from that it’ll make it possible to get prisoners into work, which is very positive.”
Russian prison labour schemes have faced allegations that prisoners are routinely underpaid or forced to work long hours. In 2013, the then-imprisoned Pussy Riot band member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova went on hunger…
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