16 November 2018, Friday, 22:07
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Valiantsina Alinevich: There are no improvements in confinement conditions

Valiantsina Alinevich
Photo: svaboda.org

The Supreme Court of Belarus dismissed the supervisory appeal by political prisoner Ihar Alinevich.

It is reported by Viasna human rights centre.

Valiantsina Alinevich, the political prisoner's mother, says she began to receive letters from him. She learnt from the letters that the supervisory appeal was dismissed by the Supreme Court. “The delivery took almost 20 days. I received a letter on July 23. Ihar writes the supervisory appeal to the Supreme Court was dismissed. He didn't receive a copy of the decision. I also learnt that inmates were deprived of the right to possess all codes of the Republic of Belarus in 2013,” she says.

Valiantsina Alinevich adds: “Ihar was thrown into a punishment cell on June 9. He doesn't write what was the reason. He read several articles about improvements of confinement conditions in Belarusian prisons. Even those who have been in jails for many years note there are no improvements. Confinement conditions become only worse. A new ban on food in parcels has been imposed recently. You cannot send bananas, berries, spices, dried fruit and honey. It doesn't concern my son, because Ihar has been without parcels and visits for almost a year. It means that attitude toward him is getting worse.”

Human rights defender Pavel Sapelka said: “The general rule is that an inmate can have no more than five books and magazines excluding textbooks necessary for secondary, technical and vocational education and training. Other books and magazines are stored in the prison library or sent to his relatives. The ban on possessing legal literature, of course, violates the rights of the convict, although technically it can be derived from these standards.”

“In accordance with the Criminal Executive Code, the authorities and officials who receive proposals, applications and complaints shall consider them within the period established by the laws of the Republic of Belarus and report on their decisions to the convicts through the administration of institutions executing punishment. Meanwhile, the internal prison rules provide that the decisions should be announced to the prisoner with written acknowledgement of receipt no later than in the three-day period. That is, the prison administration is formally entitled with the right to only announce the contents of the decisions. The only thing the prisoner can do is demand permission to copy these answers by hand. This situation violates the rights of prisoners to be protected, because the use of the full texts of decisions is essential for further correspondence and appeal procedures.”

Anarchist activist Ihar Alinevich was sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment for damaging official buildings. The political prisoner did not admit his guilt. He earlier served the sentence in a correctional facility in Navapolatsk, ecologically the worst one. After the facility was closed last year, Alinevich was transferred to Vitsba 3 correctional facility.