Colony authorities to female prisoners: “You are nobody!”

2015 2015-06-08T16:04:07+0300 2015-06-08T16:04:07+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/gomelskaja-zhenskaja-koloniya.jpeg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Homieĺ women's penal colony No. 4

Homieĺ women's penal colony No. 4

The editorial office of the website “Homieĺ Spring” has met with a former prisoner of Homieĺ women's penal colony №4, who agreed to talk about the conditions there with the condition of anonymity.

Correspondent: How many times during your stay in the colony it was visited by representatives of public organizations?

Former prisoner: It is difficult to say whether they were representatives of NGOs or government agencies, but several times the colony was visited by some commissions, which mainly controlled our nutrition. In particular, they visited the dining room. The commission members didn't meet with us and the prison authorities didn't explain anything to us. I think these visits were just a formality aimed at improving the statistics.

C: There is information that penitentiary institution including the women's colony No. 4 in Homieĺ were renovated, bidets and other facilities have been installed. Is it true?

F.P.: I had a short term and was serving it in the old building. Those who have large terms really serve it in the new one, which has really been renovated, has double-glazed windows, but all this has been made just for "window dressing". There are 20 units in the colony,some 120 women in each one. Thus, there are about 2,000 prisoners there. In the old buildings the conditions aren't suitable for women: there are beds in two tiers, just three toilets, which aren't separated, just holes in the floor. One can take a shower once a week. I think that the new building with the double-glazed windows has been constricted for the commissions you are asking about, in order to take them there ans show all this. I haven't heard about bidets in the new building.

C.: How is the situation with medical care and nutrition?

F.P.: It's hard to tell. I remember tea, watery soup and soup again. Sometimes we received burgers and fish. The prison authorities don't create any obstacles to receiving food parcels from outside. I was provided with medical care: sometimes, when I was feeling dizzy I was given pills...

C.: What about the work?

F.P.: I worked as a seamstress, but wasn't paid for it. I seamed trousers for robes.

C.: I can't but ask whether the prison administrative used physical violence towards women.

F.P.: Yes, there were such cases. For instance, for a petty misdemeanor of one prisoner all of us were made to stand outdoors in freeze in winter, though the administration kn

The editorial office of the website “Homieĺ Spring” has met with a former prisoner of Homieĺ
women's penal colony №4, who agreed to talk about the conditions there with the condition of anonymity.

Correspondent: How many times during your stay in the colony it was visited by representatives of public organizations?

Former prisoner: It is difficult to say whether they were representatives of NGOs or government agencies, but several times the colony was visited by some commissions, which mainly controlled our nutrition. In particular, they visited the dining room. The commission members didn't meet with us and the prison authorities didn't explain anything to us. I think these visits were just a formality aimed at improving the statistics.

C: There is information that penitentiary institution including the women's colony No. 4 in Homieĺ were renovated, bidets and other facilities have been installed. Is it true?

F.P.: I had a short term and was serving it in the old building. Those who have large terms really serve it in the new one, which has really been renovated, has double-glazed windows, but all this has been made just for "window dressing". There are 20 units in the colony,some 120 women in each one. Thus, there are about 2,000 prisoners there. In the old buildings the conditions aren't suitable for women: there are beds in two tiers, just three toilets, which aren't separated, just holes in the floor. One can take a shower once a week. I think that the new building with the double-glazed windows has been constricted for the commissions you are asking about, in order to take them there ans show all this. I haven't heard about bidets in the new building.

C.: How is the situation with medical care and nutrition?

F.P.: It's hard to tell. I remember tea, watery soup and soup again. Sometimes we received burgers and fish. The prison authorities don't create any obstacles to receiving food parcels from outside. I was provided with medical care: sometimes, when I was feeling dizzy I was given pills...

C.: What about the work?

F.P.: I worked as a seamstress, but wasn't paid for it. I seamed trousers for robes.

C.: I can't but ask whether the prison administrative used physical violence towards women.

F.P.: Yes, there were such cases. For instance, for a petty misdemeanor of one prisoner all of us were made to stand outdoors in freeze in winter, though the administration knew that we had just taken shower and our heads were wet. One can't call it anything but torture.

C.: What can you say about the allegations that the conditions in the prisons are almost like in the army?

F.P.: Such things can be told only by those who have never been there or those who regularly return there. The prison authorities constantly insult prisoners, telling that women are at large, whereas we are nobody, just criminals.

C.: What relations did you have with other prisoners?

F.P.: There were no fights, as everyone knows that the both sides of the conflict will be punished. Sometimes there were provocations on the part of those who were serving large terms. For instance, on the eve of my release on parole an old lady, all covered with tattoos, tried to provoke me, annoying me with the questions why I was editing the prison newspaper.

Reference:
The interview was held due to the statements of Alena Krasouskaya Kaspiarovich, the current head of the human rights organization “Platform Innovation” who compared the conditions in the Belarusian prisons and colonies with those in the Belarusian army.

Homieĺ Spring

The editorial office of the website “Homieĺ Spring” has met with a former prisoner of Homieĺ
women's penal colony №4, who agreed to talk about the conditions there with the condition of anonymity.

Correspondent: How many times during your stay in the colony it was visited by representatives of public organizations?

Former prisoner: It is difficult to say whether they were representatives of NGOs or government agencies, but several times the colony was visited by some commissions, which mainly controlled our nutrition. In particular, they visited the dining room. The commission members didn't meet with us and the prison authorities didn't explain anything to us. I think these visits were just a formality aimed at improving the statistics.

C: There is information that penitentiary institution including the women's colony No. 4 in Homieĺ were renovated, bidets and other facilities have been installed. Is it true?

F.P.: I had a short term and was serving it in the old building. Those who have large terms really serve it in the new one, which has really been renovated, has double-glazed windows, but all this has been made just for "window dressing". There are 20 units in the colony,some 120 women in each one. Thus, there are about 2,000 prisoners there. In the old buildings the conditions aren't suitable for women: there are beds in two tiers, just three toilets, which aren't separated, just holes in the floor. One can take a shower once a week. I think that the new building with the double-glazed windows has been constricted for the commissions you are asking about, in order to take them there ans show all this. I haven't heard about bidets in the new building.

C.: How is the situation with medical care and nutrition?

F.P.: It's hard to tell. I remember tea, watery soup and soup again. Sometimes we received burgers and fish. The prison authorities don't create any obstacles to receiving food parcels from outside. I was provided with medical care: sometimes, when I was feeling dizzy I was given pills...

C.: What about the work?

F.P.: I worked as a seamstress, but wasn't paid for it. I seamed trousers for robes.

C.: I can't but ask whether the prison administrative used physical violence towards women.

F.P.: Yes, there were such cases. For instance, for a petty misdemeanor of one prisoner all of us were made to stand outdoors in freeze in winter, though the administration knew that we had just taken shower and our heads were wet. One can't call it anything but torture.

C.: What can you say

The editorial office of the website “Homieĺ Spring” has met with a former prisoner of Homieĺ
women's penal colony №4, who agreed to talk about the conditions there with the condition of anonymity.

Correspondent: How many times during your stay in the colony it was visited by representatives of public organizations?

Former prisoner: It is difficult to say whether they were representatives of NGOs or government agencies, but several times the colony was visited by some commissions, which mainly controlled our nutrition. In particular, they visited the dining room. The commission members didn't meet with us and the prison authorities didn't explain anything to us. I think these visits were just a formality aimed at improving the statistics.

C: There is information that penitentiary institution including the women's colony No. 4 in Homieĺ were renovated, bidets and other facilities have been installed. Is it true?

F.P.: I had a short term and was serving it in the old building. Those who have large terms really serve it in the new one, which has really been renovated, has double-glazed windows, but all this has been made just for "window dressing". There are 20 units in the colony,some 120 women in each one. Thus, there are about 2,000 prisoners there. In the old buildings the conditions aren't suitable for women: there are beds in two tiers, just three toilets, which aren't separated, just holes in the floor. One can take a shower once a week. I think that the new building with the double-glazed windows has been constricted for the commissions you are asking about, in order to take them there ans show all this. I haven't heard about bidets in the new building.

C.: How is the situation with medical care and nutrition?

F.P.: It's hard to tell. I remember tea, watery soup and soup again. Sometimes we received burgers and fish. The prison authorities don't create any obstacles to receiving food parcels from outside. I was provided with medical care: sometimes, when I was feeling dizzy I was given pills...

C.: What about the work?

F.P.: I worked as a seamstress, but wasn't paid for it. I seamed trousers for robes.

C.: I can't but ask whether the prison administrative used physical violence towards women.

F.P.: Yes, there were such cases. For instance, for a petty misdemeanor of one prisoner all of us were made to stand outdoors in freeze in winter, though the administration kn

The editorial office of the website “Homieĺ Spring” has met with a former prisoner of Homieĺ
women's penal colony №4, who agreed to talk about the conditions there with the condition of anonymity.

Correspondent: How many times during your stay in the colony it was visited by representatives of public organizations?

Former prisoner: It is difficult to say whether they were representatives of NGOs or government agencies, but several times the colony was visited by some commissions, which mainly controlled our nutrition. In particular, they visited the dining room. The commission members didn't meet with us and the prison authorities didn't explain anything to us. I think these visits were just a formality aimed at improving the statistics.

C: There is information that penitentiary institution including the women's colony No. 4 in Homieĺ were renovated, bidets and other facilities have been installed. Is it true?

F.P.: I had a short term and was serving it in the old building. Those who have large terms really serve it in the new one, which has really been renovated, has double-glazed windows, but all this has been made just for "window dressing". There are 20 units in the colony,some 120 women in each one. Thus, there are about 2,000 prisoners there. In the old buildings the conditions aren't suitable for women: there are beds in two tiers, just three toilets, which aren't separated, just holes in the floor. One can take a shower once a week. I think that the new building with the double-glazed windows has been constricted for the commissions you are asking about, in order to take them there ans show all this. I haven't heard about bidets in the new building.

C.: How is the situation with medical care and nutrition?

F.P.: It's hard to tell. I remember tea, watery soup and soup again. Sometimes we received burgers and fish. The prison authorities don't create any obstacles to receiving food parcels from outside. I was provided with medical care: sometimes, when I was feeling dizzy I was given pills...

C.: What about the work?

F.P.: I worked as a seamstress, but wasn't paid for it. I seamed trousers for robes.

C.: I can't but ask whether the prison administrative used physical violence towards women.

F.P.: Yes, there were such cases. For instance, for a petty misdemeanor of one prisoner all of us were made to stand outdoors in freeze in winter, though the administration knew that we had just taken shower and our heads were wet. One can't call it anything but torture.

C.: What can you say about the allegations that the conditions in the prisons are almost like in the army?

F.P.: Such things can be told only by those who have never been there or those who regularly return there. The prison authorities constantly insult prisoners, telling that women are at large, whereas we are nobody, just criminals.

C.: What relations did you have with other prisoners?

F.P.: There were no fights, as everyone knows that the both sides of the conflict will be punished. Sometimes there were provocations on the part of those who were serving large terms. For instance, on the eve of my release on parole an old lady, all covered with tattoos, tried to provoke me, annoying me with the questions why I was editing the prison newspaper.

Reference:
The interview was held due to the statements of Alena Krasouskaya Kaspiarovich, the current head of the human rights organization “Platform Innovation” who compared the conditions in the Belarusian prisons and colonies with those in the Belarusian army.

Homieĺ Spring

слухаць Радыё рацыя Міжнародная федэрацыя правоў чалавека Беларуская Інтэрнэт-Бібліятэка КАМУНІКАТ Грамадзкі вэб-архіў ВЫТОКІ Антидискриминационный центр АДЦ 'Мемориал' Prava-BY.info Беларускі Праўны Партал Межрегиональная правозащитная группа - Воронеж/Черноземье
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Молодежное Правозащитное Движение
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