Belarusian human rights activists allowed to inspect eight colonies

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Human rights defenders of the Platforma Inaveyshn received permission to visit Belarusian colonies and detention centers, correctional facilities of the open type etc.

According to Radio Liberty, from October 2014 to early February 2015, they visited eight colonies, including the ones in Shklou and Gorki, one educational colony in Babruisk and detention facility in Vitsebsk.

Platform Inaveyshn director, Alena Krasouskaya-Kaspiarovich, said that the main trend in these colonies was positive. Everywhere new buildings and facilities are constructed with the old ones being renovated, conditions gradually improve, although there are also problems.

In contrast to the Minsk detention facility in Akrestsina, where prisoners are watched round the clock, surveillance in the women's prison in Homiel is not taking place. There, Krasouskaya-Kaspiarovich says, cameras are only installed in the corridors. But in general, there are more and more cameras in the colonies, and it becomes the primary means of security, says human rights activist.

Among the current domestic problems in the colonies, the activist mentioned a strong lack of refrigerators. It means that the prisoners cannot store for long the products they are sent from the outside. Krasouskaya-Kaspiarovich criticized only the colony in Horki, as there the building just falls apart and is obsolete.

Human rights defenders of the Platforma Inaveyshn plan to visit in the coming years all the 66 penitentiary institutions in Belarus, and do it more than once. An agreement to do this already exists.

Photos - svaboda.org