Urgent: UN informed about torture of political prisoners

2012 2012-07-20T15:54:22+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Urgent appeals on torture of Statkevich and Dashkevich have been sent to the United Nations.

Appeals asking to investigate the facts of inhuman treatment of political prisoners Mikalai Statkevich and Zmitser Dashkevich were sent to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture.

Urgent appeals are filed on suspicion of using torture against a person and demand immediate interference to stop such actions, protivpytok.org reports.

The appeal says about unbearable confinement conditions, placing inmates in one cell with prisoners having highly contagious diseases or mental disorders, making prisoners starve by allowing them to buy food and daily necessities articles only at a sum of 100,000 Belarusian rubles, throwing inmates into punishment cells on far-fetched grounds. The appeal also informs about a new criminal case against Zmitser Dashkevich that may add one more year to his prison term and describes the facts and numerous evidence of cruel and inhuman treatment of Statkevich in the KGB jail in December 2010.

Incommunicado detention is among the reasons for making urgent appeals.

“The advantage of urgent appeals is that one does not need to go through all domestic procedures of legal protection. Urgent appeals are aimed at putting an end to certain actions that violate the rights of certain persons amid serious concerns about their safety.

If the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture finds it necessary, he can send a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs  urging the government to ensure the physical and mental integrity of the persons.

The current UN procedure does not provide for informing the authors of the appeal or other persons concerned about the taken measures, so it's difficult to estimate the efficiency of every appeal. But we need to use all mechanisms to defend the rights of political prisoners. We hope the efficiency of UN mechanisms will grow with the appointment of the rapporteur on Belarus,” human rights activist Daria Korsak said.