Salihorsk detention center closed for repairs

2013 2013-03-19T11:45:32+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

As reported by local human rights defenders, the Salihorsk-based temporary detention center is undergoing repair and maintenance work.

Local activists have repeatedly complained about the anti-human conditions for prisoners in the local detention center. Last year, for example, local Young Front member Ivan Shyla sent a special appeal to the Minister of Internal Affairs as a result of non-compliance with legislation in Salihorsk detention center. A sad occasion for this was the death of a youth in August 2012 as a result of injuries received in the prison.

“The detention center has no separate beds, the toilet is in the cell and looks like a hole in the floor with two taps over it, one for flushing and the other for drinking. The prisoners are not provided with separate beds, minimum standards are ignored – many of them have to sleep on the boards and on the floor… near the same toilet. The cells are not aired in summer, the temperature exceeds the limit... The cells are dark all day, health standards are not met. According to the experienced prisoners, the mattresses are changed only after someone dies,” said Ivan Shyla in his address.

Most of his requirements were then ignored, and the young activists himself was accused of slander. However, according to local human rights defenders, the publication of the letter in the media had a positive impact.

“We have learned that the prison is under repair. This is not just painting the walls, but in fact a more serious approach. We hope that as a result of the work all the legal standards of treatment of prisoners will be considered and implemented,” says local representative of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee Leanid Markhotka.

The human rights activists also hope that after the completion of repairs they will have the opportunity to inspect the prison for compliance with the standards.