MIA can easily turn cereals into pasta, meat into fish and oil to fat

2015 2015-07-08T20:46:08+0300 2015-07-08T20:46:08+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/pitanie_v_turme_.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

How are foodstuffs interchanged in the conditions of the penitentiary system and what do people have to eat there?

Being “inspired” with the answer of the Council of Ministers to the human rights defender Siarhei Ustsinau regarding the calculation of the norms of nutrition in temporary detention facilities and the recently published annex to the MIA ruling about “The norms of replacing of some foodstuffs with others during their issuance", the lawyer of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" Pavel Sapelka decided to establish how people can be fed in “correctional sanatoriums”.

How sweet is this, to make an official secret of the norms of waste and losses occurring during the procession of raw foodstuffs in the institutions of the penal system! Well, this is not a joke: the process and the percentage of drying, evaporation, shrinkage, etc. etc. could undermine the security of the country and the credibility of those who are more honest than anyone, would it be given publicity.

Or make, people laugh, God forbid. MIA ruling No. 139 of May 7, 2015 was inadvertedly published, together with the annex “Norms of replacement of some foodstuffs with others during their issuance for the organization of nutrition for the persons who are held in the institutions of the penal system and the citizens who are held in the activity therapy centers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, the persons who are held in the temporary detention facilities and the detention centers of Internal Affairs bodies”. The very title speaks for itself – as long as you are in an ATC, you are still a “citizen”, but as long as you get in a remand prison you are already a “person”.

What can a man be fed with? For instance, breakfast can consist of cereal, tea and white bread with butter, dinner – of soup with pasta, fish with potatoes and stewed fruit; dinner – of meat with vegetables and tea.

Now we can take the official table and turn the menu of a human being into the menu of a “person”:

Cereals are replaced with pasta according to the ratio 1:1, tea – with a fruit and vegetable extract, bread – with crackers (100:65), oil – with processed animal fat (1:1), sugar – with dried fruit (100:67). That's how we get fatty pasta with stewed fruit.

Dinner, however, leaves much more space for imagination: the 30 prescribed grams of pasta can be replaced of 30 grams of second grade flour (as pasta was eaten for breakfast), 100 grams of fish without head is replaced with 50 grams of processed cheese, potatoes – with dried vegetables (10:1), and that's how we get some muck. We can get no fruit, as they were eaten for breakfast, too, that's why we have to have a fruit stew, but, by an ill luck, there will be just 25 grams of it.

Now let's take supper. We replace meat with fish with head (1:2), fresh vegetables – with sauerkraut (1: 1), and voila, we get a famous dish of the Belarusian penal system, known to many after remand prisons. If there is no fish, it can be again replaced with fat meat, and then the “person” gets an even more famous dish of the Belarusian prison cuisine – bigus.

You may say it's all a joke, but, alas, we've heard stories which could be by far funnier were they not so sad.

So, we've had our meals... By the way, the grams indicate gross weight, not net weight. How much a “person” will actually eat is an official secret.