Valadarka prison inmate killed by prison staff
14:18, — crime
An inmate died after being beaten by prisoner officers.
Viasna human rights centre carried out the monitoring of the penitentiary system and receives letters reporting about human rights violations in relation to people in custody and serving sentences, including allegations of torture and other evidence of inhuman treatment of prisoners.
The following events took place in cell No. 30 located in the prison medical unit for people under investigation. Cell No. 27 for people with mental disorders is on the opposite. Both cells have ventilation windows 10-20 centimetres high through which one can see part of the corridor in front of the cells.
A prisoner writes:
“I was in cell No. 30. I heard a patient from cell No. 27 shouting loudly, which drew attention of all my cellmates. It's worth noting that screams from that cell can be heard very often. An officer on duty at the medical unit and medical staff appeared. They made sure there was no violence in relation to the inmate from his cellmates, ordered him to shut up and calm down voluntary, otherwise additional prison officers would be called. The officer on duty demanded other inmates to 'influence' the troublemaker. It was quiet for some time, but we heard screams again, even louder ones, at 5 p.m.
My cellmates and I watched the events through the ventilation window. Some prison officers entered the cell and began to 'calm down' the shouting man with rubber batons. We heard their laughter, which meant they enjoyed beating the ill man. They knocked down the man, twisted his arms and tied him to the bunk. He was shouting and trying to free himself, but met even more cruel beating. He finally became silent and the prison guards left the cell and closed the door.
It was getting on for the shift turnover for prison officers and the evening check, which takes place at 6 p.m.
After the check, inmates of cell No. 27 began to knock at the door asking for prison staff to come. Prison officer Nastya came closer. They told her through the door the patient had stopped breathing. The prison officer listened to the complaint and went away. Knocking repeated in 40 minutes. The prison officer appeared again and patients said their cellmate needed medical aid urgently, because he had no signs of life for about an hour. The officer called for help. Medical officer on duty Sasha (probably not real name), the unit senior officer (nicknamed Gvozd) and several prison officers appeared. They opened the cell, untied the patient and dragged him to the corridor. The medical officer started to massage his heart lifting his arms and pressing on his chest. He then ran to the medical office and returned angry because they didn't have adrenaline. The unit senior officer said he would call emergency ambulance. He phoned the checkpoint No. 1. He asked the medical officer what to say to doctors and received an answer 'Tell them he has stopped breathing.' The medical officer continued to massage the heart.
We heard well from a conversation between the senior officer and prison officers that patient's name was Semenovich and one of the prison officer who had beaten him with a rubber baton was Bobko. The prison officers at last noticed we were listening to their conversation and closed the ventilation window. We couldn't see anything and heard some time later that the patient had died.”
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