Was the refusal to accept a parcel for the detained director general of “Uralkaliy” Vladislav Baumgertner legal?
To put it mildly,
employees of the Belarusian KGB paltered while refusing to accept a
parcel for the detained head of “Uralkaliy” Vladislav
As it became known from his lawyer, Aliaksei Basistau, who represents the interests of the businessman's family, on 28 August his mother tried to pass a parcel with personal belongings and means of hygiene for him. However, the guards of the remand prison refused to accept anything but a toothpaste, toothbrush, soap and towel, saying that no other things could be passed to Mr. Baumgertner due to his status of a detainee.
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”, which has dealt with the monitoring of penitentiary institutions for a long time, asked an experienced lawyer and expert Pavel Sapelka to comment on the situation.
“In fact, the Law "On the Procedure and Conditions of Detention" does not distinguish between the rights of detainees and prisoners in custody, and provides just one definition – "a person in custody”. " In accordance with this law, detainees shall have the right, inter alia, to receive information about their rights and responsibilities, the regime of detention, the procedure for filing motions, proposals, applications and complaints, to personal security in places of detention, to humane treatment and respect for their human dignity; to receive parcels, send and receive remittances; to correspondence and additional material security.
The people who are kept in custody are allowed to receive packages without any limits, but their weight should not exceed the norms, established by the postage rules, and also food parcels – not more than 30 kilos a month. The financial transfers wich are passed to the people who are kept in custody are put to their personal accounts, about which they are informed by the organ which conducts criminal proceedings against them. The parcels which contain medicines, are accepted after the conclusion of the doctor at the place of detention. The list of items and substances that are prohibited for transfer to places of detention is set by the internal regulations of the respective institutions.
The norms which must ensure that the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of persons held in custody, the implementation of their duties, the supervision over them, the security of them and the officers of the remand prison of the KGB are established by the internal regulations in the remand prisons of the Republic of Belarus. The Rules provide the same rights for the detainees, as they cannot contravene the law."
“It seems that a long-established pattern is used towards the detainee: they try to make him feel that he is abandoned by everyone and his fate is completely in the hands of the investigation. This pattern includes restrictions on contacts with his lawyer, "overcrowded" investigative offices, prohibitions to the lawyer to disclose information of the preliminary investigation, arrest without court sanction, and as a result – violation of the standards of fair trial since the first days of the criminal prosecution”.
The Human Rights Center “Viasna” has monitored the places of forced detention in Belarus during several years, and issued the “Report on the results of the monitoring of places of forced detentions in the Republic of Belarus” on its results. This work continues even now: the received information is analyzed, shortcomings of the domestic penal law are identified and recommendations for correcting the existing problems are prepared.