17 February 2019, Sunday, 22:07
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Meetings of Mikalai Dzyadok are limited to 15 minutes

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MIKALAI DZYADOK

On June 25 the meeting of Mikalai Dzyadok with his lawyer lasted for 15 minutes only.

Our of the hour which had been allowed by the colony’s administration for the meeting, three fourth were taken by preparation of documents, taking a seat in the visiting room by the lawyer, and bringing the political prisoner there. It is not the first case when the time of communication with Mikalai Dzyadok is strictly limited, Viasna human rights centre informs.

However, visits of the lawyer have a special aim – to discuss and write appeals to the prosecutor’s office against illegal actions of the penal colony’s administration against Dzyadok.

“Under the Correctional Code of Belarus, in order to receive legal aid, convicts have a right for services of lawyers and other persons, who have a right to provide legal assistance. The procedure of providing with a lawyer is established by Internal regulations of correctional institutions: in particular, such visits are not counted as one of the visits allowed under the law, their number and duration is not limited, however they take place in off-hours, and only in the time from wakeup till bedtime. Thus, arbitrary curtailing of the time of meeting of the prisoner with the lawyer is first of all, a violation of the right for legal protection. On the other hand, such actions of the administration of the penal colony infringe guarantees of legal practice and advocacy: the Law on Advocacy and the Bar in Belarus prohibits hindering lawyer’s activities in any way. In particular, it is prohibited to bar a lawyer from meetings alone with his client, in the conditions which guarantee privacy of such meetings, and to limit their number or duraction,” the lawyer of Viasna human rights centre Pavel Sapelka comments on the situation.

In the moment the political prisoner is in the punishment isolation cell again, where he was placed on June 23 for denial to work, which is the 5th time after he was transferred to the penal colony in Horki. The work which was given to him was to nail up wooden pallets, 5 days a week, 7 hours a day, and for 3 hours on Saturday, with a monthly pay of Br5,000, which could be considered as a slave labour under a threat of a punishment.

At the same time, Dzyadok more than once tried to explain the reasons of his denial to work to the head of the penal colony’s administration Alyaksandr Lapatka, asked to offer him job according to his ability and health condition. However, the latter ignored the explanations of the political prisoner, and punished him by days in the punishment isolation cell again and again.

“By their actions the administration of the colony violates the right of Mikalai to defence. Besides, we addressed complaints to the Corrections department of the Interior Affairs Ministry of Belarus against arbitrary actions of the colony’s administration. But an answer was received from them that those actions are legal. We think that the administration of the penal colony №9 acts deliberately, consciously and purposefully, provoking Mikalai Dzyadok to violate regulations in order to suppress his will,” the father of the political prisoner said.

Mikalai Dzyadok had served 4.5 years for alleged hooliganism against official buildings and was to be released on March 3, 2015. However, on February 26 the court of Leninski district of Mahilyou found him guilty under Article 411 of the Criminal Code “malicious insubordination to demands of the administration” and punished him by 1 year in a penal colony. On April 30 the court of cassation upheld the verdict.