Ivan Shyla: ‘I was put in a solitary cell 3 x 3 meters’

2009 2009-06-30T18:03:12+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/i_shyla.jpg

On 19-26 June the youth activist Ivan Shyla, forcedly drafted into the army, served a seven-day disciplinary arrest in the army unit. He was sentenced to it for using a mobile phone.

‘Akrestsina is a recreation site in comparison to it’, said Ivan Shyla. ‘I was put in a one-man cell 3 x 3 meters. People are prohibited to lie down there in the day time. They must either sit or stand. Even pushing up is banned. Naturally, books and newspapers are prohibited as well. There is no blanket. I had to count till ten thousand to kill the time, which was going too slowly.

Ivan Shyla tells that this must be one of the first cases in Belarus when somebody is arrested for using a mobile phone in the army. Usually the administration confines itself to a warning and confiscation of the phone. ‘The punishment does not correspond to the violation’, commented the youth activist.

Most probably, Ivan Shyla will have to serve in the army seven days more, as the days of the arrest are not counted as army service.

Bear in mind that Ivan Shyla was expelled from school in June 2008 before his last exam. The official reason was that he repeatedly violated the internal regulations of the school by taking part in unauthorized street actions. After his expulsion the schoolmaster retired to express solidarity with the pupil.

Six month after the expulsion Ivan Shyla was forcedly drafted into the army. Now he is serving in an air defense unit in Mezhytsa, not far from Lepel.