Yesterday it became known about another death that happened in correctional colony No. 1 in Navapolatsk – Aliaksey Zhuk, born in 1994, died. According to the employees of the colony, he suffered a cardiac arrest. However, in reality, it is almost impossible to believe that a healthy guy could have a heart failure for no reason.
Another question is why Aliaksey could not be given medical help in time. There are medical staff in the colony around the clock, there are medicines and medical equipment, and at least a heart massage could have been done to keep the boy alive until the ambulance arrived. However, instead of rescuing the prisoner, the colony authorities issued an order to remain silent about the situation.
By the way, this is not the first such case in Navapolatsk colony since the beginning of the year. Just under a month ago, on 29 January, Andrei Dubik, 25, committed suicide in the penal cell. Before that, for three weeks his family had not received letters from him. Moreover, Andrei complained of psychological pressure from the administration and felt bad morally. The guy spent only six months in the colony. During the six months of his stay in the colony, the boy’s parents were able to see him only twice, and on the eve of the suicide, the young man’s father called the colony and found out that everything was fine with his son, but he was in the punishment cell. The relatives were also not given detailed information about Andrey’s death.
As ICCI “Nash Dom” found out, all possible human rights are violated in Navapolatsk penal colony No. 1, and the head of the colony condones it without protecting the prisoners in any way. Former prisoners of the correctional institution told about this. In groups on social networks, penal colony No. 1 is called the most severe and cruel colony in Belarus. There is no direct evidence of lawlessness due to the closed nature of the prison system, which means that government inspections of prisoners’ detention can be put to rest.
Meanwhile, we note that the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus enshrines the right of every person to life, and the state, according to the country’s fundamental law, must protect this life. But, apparently, this rule does not apply to colonies. Although the Criminally-Executive Code of the Republic of Belarus says that “the state guarantees the protection of the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of convicts, ensures the conditions established by law for the application of punishment and other measures of criminal liability in respect of convicts, guarantees of social justice, their social, legal and other protection”.
ICCI “NASH DOM” asks the international community to pay attention to the second death in Navapolatsk penal colony since the beginning of the year. We demand from the administration of the colony to stop hushing up this situation, and also demand the Department of the Execution of Punishments to find out who is to blame for the deaths of both prisoners and to punish those responsible. It is unfair and inhumane to punish the wrongdoers by not providing medical care and by withholding information about their deaths.