Uladzimir Lemesh about conditions in Salihorsk detention center: 3 mattresses per 15 people
An activist of the "European Belarus" Uladzimir Lemesh spent last weekend in Salihorsk detention center. The activist called the conditions of detention there inhuman and degrading and intends to file a complaint about this.
It is worth noting that in 2013, after repeated complaints, the Salihorsk detention center was renovated. Activists of the local branch of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee wanted to examine the new conditions there. However, the authorities didn't let them do it.
According to Uladzimir Lemesh, certain changes have been made. A wash basin was put in the cell, and the toilet bowl was separated from the wooden “scene” with a small wall. The polyethylene film on the windows was replaced with double-glazed windows. However, the repair did not essentially affect the situation: there are still no standard beds for arrestees. The people still have to sleep on one wooden “scene”:
“Up to 15 people at once still can be held in the same cell, whereas there is space just for 8 on the “scene”. Others have to lay down on the concrete floor. As a result, some people don't sleep at night at all. There were just three mattresses for 15 people,” says Mr. Lemesh. “The washing sink is separated from the toilet bows, which is good, but the flushing doesn't work anyway. Therefore, we had to flush with water poured to a cut plastic bottle. Then we had to pour tea in the same bottle, as there were no cups.”
The youngster also point at the persisting problems with ventilation and natural light:
“Cigarette smoke is hanging all the time in the overcrowded cell, the ventilation either doesn't work at all or just doesn't cope with it. New windows were put, but the windows are still very small. There is a critical lack of daylight in the daytime. I spent there just two days, but others are kept there for fifteen or even twenty-five days,” revoltsthe activist.
Mr. Lemesh believes regards such conditions as degrading and needs to be solved immediately. He intends to discuss the situation with his lawyer and file an appeal to the Ministry of the Interior.