A black Patrick is waiting for deportation at Akrescina Isolation Centre knowing nothing about his destiny
A black man, probably a resident of an African country, has been held at Akrescina Centre for Isolation of Offenders for a long period of time. He speaks neither Russian nor English which makes it impossible for him to communicate with the administration of the Centre.
Human rights defenders received this information from Maksim Viniarski who was recently released after the administrative arrest, and who spent 12 days with detained Patrick.
“On the second day of my detention at Akrescina, I was transferred to the two-person cell №37. In that cell I met a black man, his name was Patrick. It was hard to understand Patrick’s surname, but it begins with the letter M. Patrick doesn’t speak Russian or English. While speaking to Patrick, the officers of the Centre mentioned “Congo” several times, but I cannot be sure whether it is the country of his origin,” Maksim Viniarski says.
According to Viniarski, Patrick refuses to eat dinner and takes only first course during lunchtime. It is likely that Patrick is waiting for the deportation to his home country or for some references from the embassy. But it looks like the process takes a lot of time, and, most likely, there is no embassy of his country in Belarus.
Also, Viniarski has witnessed cases of cruel and inhuman treatment of Patrick by the officers of the Centre.
Deputy Chaiman of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” Valiantsin Stefanovich has commented this absurd situation. “This is not the first such situation that Belarusian human rights defenders have witnessed. The story told by Vinyarsky becomes especially topical in view of forthcoming talks between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus and European Commission about agreement on simplification of visa regime and readmission between the EU and our country. Readmission means that after the relevant agreement is signed those illegal emigrants who entered the EU through the territory of Belarus will be returned to Belarus from the territory of European countries to organize their further deportation to their home countries. In this context I attach special importance to the issue of creation of such special centres for accommodation of this category of citizens that would international standards and would not allow cruel and inhuman treatment of these individuals who in the most cases have not committed any crimes in Belarus. It is also important to train and educate relevant personnel that would speak foreign languages and could explain to foreign citizens pending deportation relevant legal procedures and their rights and duties. It is quite possible that it is risky to come home to some of them, and they need to be explained their right to seek asylum in Belarus,” Stefanovich says.