Russia’s prison system, the successor to the notoriously harsh gulag, has issued an edict that would have shocked even the victims of Stalin’s purges: From now on, officials say, some prisoners will be forbidden to swear.
The ban, reported by the Interfax news agency, prohibits inmates from “socializing with other individuals using lewd, threatening, demeaning or slanderous expressions or slang.”
There was no immediate indication of how the authorities intended to enforce the rule. Russian prisoners generally live in large, barracks-style communal cells with as many as 80 inmates to a room, where guards have little sway on what goes on.
All is not gloomy in the Russian penal system, however:
Detainees, who sometimes await trial for years, are now allowed to possess a larger range of personal items, including shower gel, deodorant and electric kettles...