Leanid Kulakou: “I called it the torture cell”
Leanid Kulakou, an activist of the European Belarus opposition movement, has told the Human Rights Center “Viasna” about the conditions of detention in the Smaliavičy-based jail, where he recently served 7 days of administrative arrest.
“The jail is located in the basement of the police station. There are six cells there. The cell is dark, the walls and the floor are made of concrete, and there are three metal bunks. They give a thin mattress, however, I was given a nearly new bedding.
There is no daylight. There was also no toilet. Instead, there was a 10-liter bucket with a lid. The smell was very terrible, I was constantly sick. And with the stench I had to eat something.
The room was very cold. I was detained at home, I had only light clothes on, and I was trembling all the time. If you close the small window it will be a little warmer, but then there will be the stench. I called it the “torture cell”.
In the cell, there was no table, bedside tables, chairs or benches.
The only positive is that the staff using patronymic to address the prisoners and they constantly brought hot water, so we did not freeze completely.
But I was never taken out for a walk.”
The Rules of administrative detention guarantee daily walks for at least two hours, and the cells should be equipped with a table and benches, a sanitary unit, a washbasin (if possible), as well as with tap water (a barrel with drinking water), a bedside table to store toiletries, a garbage bin, ventilation equipment, and if resources permit a radio and television sets.
The activist was detained near his house in Minsk on May 8. He was charged with staging an unsanctioned picket and sentenced to an administrative arrest of 7 days.