Human rights defender denied opportunity to visit prisons
Human rights activist and freelance journalist Leanid Svetsik was going to write a series of articles about the conditions of detention of persons held in prisons and detention centers of the Viciebsk region. He sent more than a dozen requests in these facilities asking for permission to visit them. But none of these requests has been granted.
All the replies are almost identical: “The activities of the penal system are covered by departmental newspapers, which fully reflect the state of their life and living conditions. At present, the administration does not see the need for additional coverage of institutions in other periodicals.”
Leanid Svetsik does not agree with this approach: it turns out that the citizens of Belarus should read police press to learn about the lives of people on the other side of the barbed wire, vitebskspring.org says.
The activist says it is unclear why the coverage of this issue in these two publications is sufficient, while they are not publicly available. He also says that greater awareness of Belarusian citizens about life in prisons could contribute to the fight against alcoholism and drug abuse, not to mention the prevention of crime and delinquency.