21 January 2018, Sunday, 3:48

20 HIV-positive inmates in penal colony with Byalyatski


A reportage from the penal colony in Babruisk, where human rights activist Byaltski serves his sentence, was made for a local newspaper.

A correspondent writes there are about 20 HIV-positive prisoners in the penal colony, Viasna human rights centre reports.

“Other prisoners cannot know the name of a HIV-positive person. Patient confidentiality rules work even here. Prisoners say the risk of getting a virus from infected inmates is equal to zero on condition that you follow hygiene rules,” the author reports.

Penal colony No. 2 had over 3,000 prisoners, but only 2,133 left here after the recent amnesty. Syarhei Haradnou, the chief of the correctional department, said to the journalist that “two out of those 150 released on parole got in prison again in the recent 18 months”.

The author didn't write about human rights activist Ales Byalyatski, who serves his sentence in the colony, but said the journalists had the opportunity to talk to inmates. He publishes extracts from his conversation with Uladzimir Talai, a former officer of the Ministry of Defence (the head of the missile and artillery department), who was arrested and sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2007 for abuse of power and bribery.