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Illegal imprisonment (Article 127 of the Criminal Code): analysis and comments

Every citizen has the right to personal freedom guaranteed by the legislator. Accordingly, unlawful deprivation of liberty (Article 127 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) throughout the world is recognized as a criminal offense.

The objective side

The Russian criminal law establishes responsibility for the direct commission of an act, that is, depriving a person of the opportunity to choose the location or restriction of his free movement. In reality, this crime can be expressed in the binding (imposing of the puts), locking in a dwelling or the construction of an economic purpose, forcible detention by law enforcement agencies and so on. The place of the commission of the act does not play a role, since the crime under the analyzed art. 127 of the Criminal Code can take place both on the street, and in any institution or institution and even at home with the victim. Ways to keep a person are deception and / or violence (physical or psychological). Thus, in the sense of Art. 127 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, the offense is designed as a formal one.

One should distinguish between the deprivation of a citizen's freedom and his abduction. Unlike the first, kidnapping implies the removal of a person from a home or other habitual habitat and forcible transfer to another place.

Nature of crime

To recognize an act as a criminal offense, you need to make sure that it is of an illegal nature. This means that the offender did not have the right to dispose of the victim's freedom. Such a right arises only in exceptional cases listed in the criminal law. In the absence of these circumstances, the act is considered illegal.

The subjective side

Illegal deprivation of liberty (Article 127 of the Criminal Code) always assumes that the offender has a direct intent. The perpetrator not only realizes the fact that the victim is deprived of the freedom of locating and moving, but also wants to deprive the person of the rights that belong to him according to the law.

The motives of the act being analyzed are not recognized as qualifying signs, and therefore can be used by the judge in the individualization of criminal responsibility. Motive is often a simple mischief, but more often in practice, there are acts of revenge or self-interest.


To recognize an intruder as the subject of a crime, it is required to establish his sanity and age. Under the law, responsibility for illegal imprisonment (Article 127 of the Criminal Code) comes from the age of sixteen.

Officials illegally depriving a person of freedom of location and movement are liable under other articles of the Criminal Code. Their actions can be considered as excess of authority, abuse of office or as one of the crimes committed against the justice system.


There are three compositions, in a sense similar to each other. This, in fact, art. 127 of the Criminal Code, the aforementioned abduction of a citizen and the seizure of a hostage. The difficulty in qualifying criminally punishable acts is that deprivation of liberty can actually progress to kidnapping. Everything will depend on the specific circumstances in each individual case, and, most likely, the deprivation of liberty will be part of the kidnapping of a person (not being an independent crime at the same time). Both of these articles should be distinguished from actions classified as hostage taking. The difference lies in the objects, as well as the objective and subjective aspects of the deeds.

Comparison with the hostage taking

When capturing a hostage, the object is public safety, which is understood as the order of life and behavior based on legislation and generally accepted rules, which guarantees protection and respect for basic human rights. With the full implementation of this procedure, persons with criminal intentions do not have the opportunity to encroach on the dignity, property, life and well-being of other citizens, in order to negotiate with the state at their expense.

Therefore, when capturing a hostage, in contrast to the art. 127 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, in the case of victims of a special type. Criminals have nothing to do with the victims of the capture, as the latter have nothing to do with the invaders. The hostages are needed only to compel the state to listen and fulfill the demands of the perpetrators, and these requirements are in no way connected with the captured people. According to statistics, most often voiced the demands to transfer large amounts of money, drugs, ammunition and weapons. Often, the invaders need an aircraft to cross the state border.

In contrast to the analyzed art. 127 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, the criminal seizure of hostages is characterized by a greater scale of illegal activities, the emergence of panic among people, the violation of constitutional rights to a safe life. The method is also quite specific and even registered in the title of the article: capture. The wording is clear: Art. 206 of the Criminal Code describes a much more dangerous crime than depriving a citizen of freedom or his abduction. The capture of a hostage is associated with obvious manifestations of violence of several degrees of severity, and depriving a citizen of freedom and his abduction can do without violence at all.

There is another difference between Art. 206 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation from the legal norm in question and Art. 126. The invaders keep hostages until the state fulfills their demands. The killing of a hostage does not come from personal motives and emotional motives, but from a desire to force state authorities to hurry with the decision.


Thus, according to Art. 127 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation with comments it is clear that the act under analysis can not only form an independent part of the crime, but also be an integral part of other criminally punishable acts.

It is noteworthy that the kidnapping of a citizen and the subsequent detention of a kidnapped person in a room with violation of his right to freedom of location and movement are covered by Art. 126. The Russian judicial practice shows that in such a case there is no need to additionally evaluate criminal actions also under Article 127.

As an actual event, depriving a citizen of his freedom is not always associated with criminal intent and does not always constitute a criminal offense. In order to distinguish the case of interpersonal relations from crime, it is necessary to establish and prove the lack of consent of a citizen to deprive him of his freedom of location and movement. Absence of consent is considered obvious and does not require proof if the deprivation of the citizen of freedom occurs as a result of violent actions directed against him or obvious deceit on the part of the attacker.

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