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WHO alarmed at imprisonment for drug possession in Belarus

Vyachaslau Hrankou /

The World Health Organization is alarmed at the criminalization of drug abuse in Belarus. According to WHO, people should not be imprisoned for taking drugs. They should be sent to rehabilitation and should be given treatment, coordinator of the infectious decease office of the WHO affiliate in Belarus Vyachaslau Hrankou announced at a press conference in Minsk.

WHO is alarmed at criminal prosecution for drug possession in Belarus. Drug abusers not involved in drug distribution should be subjected to administrative responsibility and should undergo medical treatment and rehabilitation, WHO believes.

The limit on the amount of drugs that can be possessed for personal use and for distribution is very vague in Belarus, Vachaslau Hrankou complained. He set Portugal as an example – the Portuguese legislation clearly states what can be considered a 10-day consumption norm for one person.

Furthermore, WHO mentioned decree #1192 of the Council of Ministers signed in 2014. It started the practice of sending information about drug abusers to the Minister of Internal Affairs and other institutions.  “We understand that this information is not public but the fact can prevent people from receiving medical assistance,” Vyachaslau Hrankou explained.

At the same time, the WHO representative expressed satisfaction with the Belarusian MIA’s struggle with drug trafficking and mentioned the fact that the Belarusian Ministry of Health was sticking to the international standards of drug addiction treatment.