News on the topic: penitentiary system

No changes in public control over places of detention

13.05.2016 No changes in public control over places of detention

Lawyer of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" Pavel Sapelka has analyzed the latest developments in monitoring places of detention in Belarus.

What changes to be introduced in conditions of serving sentences of restriction freedom and imprisonment?

05.05.2016 What changes to be introduced in conditions of serving sentences of restriction freedom and imprisonment?

The National Assembly is preparing to adopt a law "On amendments and additions to the Criminal Executive Code of the Republic of Belarus". Its adoption is expected to draw a line, among other things, under determining the duration of short-term visits provided for prisoners. These changes have been analyzed by Pavel Sapelka, an expert on the prison system and lawyer of the HRC "Viasna".

Human rights activists warn authorities against building concentration camps

14.04.2016 Human rights activists warn authorities against building concentration camps

Activists of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” say they are outraged over the President's recent order to tighten the conditions for convicts serving prison terms on drug-related charges.

Death in Žodzina prison: accident or negligence?

21.03.2016 Death in Žodzina prison: accident or negligence?

Ms. Maryna Bahdanava says her son died as a result of negligence by the doctors of prison No. 8 in the town of Žodzina, Minsk region.

Viasna publishes report on monitoring places of detention in Belarus

02.03.2016 Viasna publishes report on monitoring places of detention in Belarus

The Human Rights Center “Viasna” has analyzed the situation in places of detention in Belarus and prepared a report on the results of monitoring in 2015.

Creating separate colony with intolerable conditions of detention contrary to fundamental principles of international and national law

18.02.2016 Creating separate colony with intolerable conditions of detention contrary to fundamental principles of international and national law

In accordance with Article 8 of the Criminal Executive Code, which enshrines the foundations of the legal status of convicted persons, the State guarantees the protection of the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of convicts, provides the statutory conditions of application of punishments and other measures of criminal responsibility in relation to convicts, guarantees social justice, their social, legal and other protection.

Legal proceedings in jail death case deadlocked

07.12.2015 Legal proceedings in jail death case deadlocked

Despite the fact that the judges have overturned a number of decisions by the Svietlahorsk district office of the Investigative Committee, they generally support the investigation in the death of Aliaksandr Akulich, disregarding the undeniable arguments of human rights defenders.

Department of Corrections should not forget about country’s international obligations

01.12.2015 Department of Corrections should not forget about country’s international obligations

The Department of Corrections has responded to a petition of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, which requested information about the conditions of detention of Andrei Bandarenka, former head of the Platform Innovation human rights NGO. However, the request was left without consideration on the merits in the interests of Bandarenka.

Closed medical institutions: Treatment or violence?

25.11.2015 Closed medical institutions: Treatment or violence?

Every year, Belarusian courts consider about 700 lawsuits asking for forced treatment of citizens, 90% of which are met. Meanwhile, the patients of closed institutions keep writing to human rights defenders with complaints of ill-treatment. Pavel Sapelka, who specializes in analyzing the country’s penal system, concludes that the current legal regulation in this area is insufficient. His findings are based on a detailed analysis of legislation and practice with respect to special hospitals.

Mother still seeking details in jail death case

03.11.2015 Mother still seeking details in jail death case

Zhanna Ptsichkina, the mother of Ihar Ptsichkin who died in Minsk’s jail in Valadarski Street in August 2013, has been allowed to see the results of a new examination of her dead son’s body carried out in a re-opened criminal case. The investigation continues, but the woman still faces a ban on disclosing any details.

Detention conditions improved in jails in Minsk and Smaliavičy after complaint from activist

27.10.2015 Detention conditions improved in jails in Minsk and Smaliavičy after complaint from activist

In 2015, Leanid Kulakou, activist of the European Belarus opposition movement, has served two short jail terms in the temporary detention facilities in Smaliavičy and Minsk. The penalties were imposed on the activist or taking part in two protests, including in solidarity with political prisoner Yury Rubtsou.

Convict from Mazyr:  prison rules are established in open facility

11.09.2015 Convict from Mazyr: prison rules are established in open facility

80 convicts of open correctional facility No. 20 in Mazyr filed a collective complaint to the Department of Corrections at the Ministry of Interior.

"Council of Ministers will hardly understand those who study in special schools"

01.09.2015 "Council of Ministers will hardly understand those who study in special schools"

August 24,two pupils escaped from the closed vocational school in Mahilioŭ. This is far from the first case when pupils escape from correctional educational institutions.

“Prisoners in activity therapy centers should not be employed but dismissed”

26.08.2015 “Prisoners in activity therapy centers should not be employed but dismissed”

Local executive authorities have received an obligation to assist the activity therapy centers (medical-labor dispensaries, popularly known as LTPs) in the employment of citizens, and open-type correctional institutions have been charged with the employment of prisoners. The decision is ordered by a resolution of the Council of Ministers of 14 August 2015, Interfax reports, citing the press service of the government.

Poisoning with bleach: Torture or ‘violation of sanitary norms”?

20.08.2015 Poisoning with bleach: Torture or ‘violation of sanitary norms”?

The Investigative Committee of Belarus has quashed a decision not to institute criminal proceedings against employees of the Mahilioŭ-based penal colony No. 15, who tortured prisoner Piotr Kuchura with bleach during his confinement in the punishment cell. However, when notifying the convict, a representative of the Investigative Committee writes about a ‘violation of sanitary norms’.

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