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Prisoners’ Rights Grossly Violated in Minsk Colony #1

2007 2007-06-05T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The organizational committee for the establishment of the Belarusian Committee for defense of prisoners’ rights Over the Barrier has distributed a press-release with facts of violations of the rights of prisoners in the corrective colony of general and medium security #1 of Minsk. The mother of Dzmitry Karaliou (former officer of Alpha, special anti-terror subdivision of the Russian Federal Security Bureau Alpha) said that workers of the colony try to blackmail her son.

For instance, in February 2007, according to articles 186 and 187 of the Criminal Executive Code Dzmitry Karaliou was to have stood the commission of colony #1 for replacement of the rest of the punishment with a milder restraint. During 2,5 years of imprisonment Mr. Karaliou had no reprimands and violations and had a good characteristic. That’s why there were no legal obstacles to lightening the penalty. The administration informed Karaliou about the upcoming commission.

Several days after it the prisoner Dzianis Benaradski (who used to head one of the colony brigades and now spends a term for selling drugs, article 328, part 3 of the Criminal Code) in presence of the witness Ya. Prakharevich proposed to Dz. Karaliou to facilitate the positive decision of the commission at the expense of 2 000 US dollars. He said that this question would be decided by his mother Alvina Benaradskaya, who had friendly relations with the colony administration and the heads of the department for implementation of penalties of the Republic of Belarus. He also said that in the case of refusal Karaliou will not pass the commission and will be left in jail.

On 1 March 2007, on the eve of the commission Benaradskaya met with the head of the 6th brigade of the colony and said that Karaliou would not pass the commission, as she took all the necessary efforts for it. This talk was witnessed by Aliaksandr and Andrei Ramanenka.

Several days later a non-scheduled search was performed at Karaliou’s cell. The police confiscated from him shorts as a prohibited item (according to article 55.12 of the internal regulations of the colony ‘prisoners are allowed to wear sportswear in leisure time for training). The illegality of the confiscation is evident – Karaliou had the shorts during the whole term of imprisonment and were introduced into the registers of his personal belongings which were composed thrice during the term of his imprisonment and were signed by the head of the 6th brigade, major V.Rouda and the operative worker of the regime department, senior lieutenant A.Siauruk.

For this ‘violation’ the head of the colony Yauhen Los gave a reprimand to Dzmitry Karaliou, as a result of which the latter was deprived of the possibility to stand before the commission for the next 7 months.

After these events the prisoner’s mother had an audience with Los, who agreed with her arguments and promised to annul the illegal reprimand. However, this penalty was not annulled. Instead, Karaliou was transferred to another brigade situated in another sector of the colony. His relatives consider it as an attempt of psychological pressurization from the side of the colony administration.

Taking into consideration the fact that the administration of Minsk colony #1 didn’t try to improve the situation one can conclude that the 2 000 USD bribe was forced out from Karaliou with the assistance of the administration and this crime still continues.

In the beginning of May 2007 Karaliou’s mother composed reports to the department of penalty execution, the Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Belarus and the KGB office of the Republic of Belarus, where the abovementioned facts were enlisted. She still has not received any answers. That’s why the Belarusian Committee for defense of prisoners’ rights Over the Barrier asks the abovementioned state organs to turn attention on the crying violations of Dzmitry Karaliou’s rights by the colony administration, conduct an appropriate check-up, bring the guilty to account, foster the lightening of the penalty to the prisoner and transfer him to another corrective institution in order to exclude his further harassment by the administration of Minsk colony #1.

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