22 July 2019, Monday, 5:12
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WHO Concerned About Anti-Drug Legislation In Belarus

Belarusians stay away from the treatment of the drug addiction, because they are afraid to attract the attention of the Internal Affairs Directorates.

A representative of this organization in Belarus told at a press-conference that Belarusians stay away from the treatment of the drug addiction, because they are afraid to attract the attention of the Internal Affairs Directorates, onliner.by reports.

- The Republican Center for Drug Abuse Monitoring and Preventology conducted a study among injecting drug users. One addict who is registered accounts for five “hidden” consumers, - said Viachaslau Hrankou, coordinator of programs relating to infectious diseases of the WHO Country Office in Belarus.

He says that people do not go for treatment because of the fear of being registered and getting into the view of the internal affairs bodies. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria counted about 65,000 people in Belarus who inject drugs only.

Hrankou said that the UN system in Belarus in April sent a letter to the “parliament”, where they expressed concern about the harsh criminalization of drug use and suggested alternative options.

- At the pre-trial and judicial stages, as well as while serving a sentence, a person must undergo treatment, - he cited an example that in Estonia, a person who has fallen for drugs may choose whether to undergo treatment, or go to prison. - A drug user should have the right to treatment and full rehabilitation.

- We often use criminal penalties for storage. The boundaries of storage for consumption and storage for distribution are very vague. In Portugal, a person is allowed to keep a stock of drugs for 10 days - then administrative responsibility is applied, not criminal, - said the WHO representative.