Colony’s administration takes revenge at prisoners for telling about tortures
Prisoners of the penal colony in Navasady undergo pressure on the part of their wardens for spreading information on tortures.
On 18 July one of them – Aliksandr Pronin – was found guilty of committing a crime of violating the article 415 of the Criminal Code by the court of Minsk region’s Barysau district. He was sentenced to 1 year and 8 month in prison. The reason for the conviction was the accusation of repeated attempts to avoid serving the punishment of freedom limitation, the web-site of the human rights organization Platforma reports.
The court found that Aliksandr Pronin left the place of convictions three times and aimed to avoid serving the term.
It turned out that the convict actually did leave the colony. The reason for his “escapes” is not the desire to avoid serving the term. He did not aim to escape the punishment, but tried to protect himself from illegal actions of an operative detective Aleh Kavalchuk, who repeatedly used force and threatened prisoners with violence.
Currently other torture witnesses, who were not afraid of testifying the illegal actions of the policeman, are experiencing pressure on the part of the colony’s administration. Earlier they were insistently recommended to deny their testimonies in exchange for good conditions of existing in the penal colony. The prisoners were separately asked provocative questions about contacts with human rights activists.
On 19 July it became known that all the torture witnesses had been suddenly transferred for other types of works, and then ordered to quickly pack and prepare for being convoyed. The places, where the prisoners will be convoyed, are not yet known. According to the preliminary information, this will be a penal colony number 16 in Kliasnicy village in Viciebsk region, which is one of the most remote locations from Minsk.
Human rights activists managed to speak to the head of the Department of Punishments for Minsk region colonel Muslitski, who ensured them that the pressure would not be applied to prisoners. However, judging from the latest events, the penitentiary system does need prisoners, who speak up of the violations of their rights.
The administration of the colony in Navasady refused to comment on the information.