Yury Rubtsou: number of walks is reduced, the quality of food is poor
The political prisoner Yury Rubtsou told his wife, who visited him in prison in Baranavičy, that the number of walks was groundlessly restricted and the food served to the prisoners was of poor quality.
Unfortunately, the public learns about many of the problems in the penitentiary institutions only when some political prisoners get there and, being unafraid of inevitable persecution, give publicity to the violations that have become a norm there. I immediately remembered a conversation with Pavel Vinahradau, who described conditions of detention in the remand prison in Baranavičy: terrible overpopulation, especially in the so-called transit cell where prisoners are awaiting direction to a colony (in 2012, in a written reply the head of the remand prison claimed that this was a temporary phenomenon), a poor quality of food, poor facilities, rats. Obviously, the situation there still has not changed.
What rights do prisoners have?
The rights of the persons kept in remand prisons are established by the internal regulations of remand centers of the correctional system of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus. The rules are intended to ensure the rights and interests of persons held in custody, as well as the execution of their duties.
The persons held in custody are to be served three meals a day. During the whole term of stay in the remand prison a prisoner is to be supplied with a berth, a mattress, a pillow, a blanket, two sheets and a pillowcase, a towel, a bowl, a cup and a spoon and means of hygiene.
A cell is to be equipped with a table and benches with the number of seats corresponding to the number of the persons held in a cell, a separated sanitary unit, sink and faucet with tap water; a cupboard for foodstuffs; a coat rack; a shelf for toiletries; a wall mirror; a barrel for drinking water; a radio; a garbage bin; lamps of the day and night lighting; ventilation equipment.
If there is no water boilers or hot water, hot water for hygienic purposes and boiled water for drinking is given daily at a certain time depending on people's needs.
At least once a week persons held in custody are given the opportunity to bathe in a shower of at least 15 minutes. Bed linen is changed weekly after bathing in the shower.
People held in custody need to be taken out for a walk for at least two hours. The duration of the walk is determined by the head of the remand prison, taking into account the schedule of daily activities, the meteorological data, the number of persons in the prison and other factors. The people who are kept in remand prisons are to be taken out for walks preferably in the daytime. The time for the walks is established according to a schedule. The time spent on leading the people out of the cells, their movement on the territory of the remand prison and their return to the cells is included in the time of the walk.
The walks are held on the territory of the exercise yards in the prisons. The exercise yards need to be equipped with benches for sitting and shelters from the rain. The walks may be canceled or reduced on the conclusion of the head of the remand prison or its medical department due to meteorological conditions. All people who are held in the same cell are taken out for a walk simultaneously. Only medical workers of a remand prisons can be freed from walks.
Pavel Sapelka for palitviazni.info