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Prison doctors face charges over fatal incident in Žodzina jail

2016 2016-12-14T12:44:45+0300 2016-12-14T12:50:40+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Ihar Barbashynski. Photo:

Ihar Barbashynski. Photo:

The Žodzina city department of the Investigative Committee has opened a criminal investigation into the death of Ihar Barbashynski, an inmate of local jail, in September 2016. A notification received by the victim’s mother says that the case was opened under Part 2 of Article 162 of the Criminal Code (improper performance of professional duties by a healthcare practitioner, which negligently caused the death of a patient).

In late March 2016, Ihar Barbashynski was detained in Sluck together with his brother Ivan and charged with appearing in a state of intoxication in a public place.

The following day, the brothers were taken to hospital, where an examination revealed broken ribs and numerous bruises. After they complained to the police department, they learned that they faced charges for acts of violence against police officers. Two months later, in June 2016, the men were arrested and put in a pre-trial detention center in Žodzina.

On September 20, one of the brothers — Ihar — died in prison under unclear circumstances.

Following his death, the Investigative Committee opened a probe, which revealed that the prisoner voiced complaints about short-term loss of consciousness. Later, in mid-September, Barbashynski complained about a significant deterioration in his health: physical weakness, frequent dizziness, high temperatures and very low blood pressure. The prison doctor said that the patient's state was of moderate severity. However, he was unable to determine the diagnosis.

On the same day, late at night on September 16, Barbashynski’s condition deteriorated and an ambulance was called. The prisoner was sent to the city hospital with a diagnosis of cerebral circulation disorder.

He received treatment during three days, from 16 to 19 September. He examined more thoroughly and diagnosed with encephalitis. Barbashynski was then brought back to the prison hospital. However, in the morning on September 20, Ihar Barbashynski died.

Barbashynski’s family members requested an additional forensic examination, which was expected to clarify the sudden deterioration of his health and name the cause of his death.

On November 22, Ihar’s brother Ivan, after spending six months in jail, was sentenced by the Sluck District Court to two years of “home arrest” for resisting law enforcement officers. He is going to appeal against the unjust sentence.

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