Prisoner Anishchuk swallowed metal objects to stop torture in colony, his lawyer reports

The administration of penal colony # 15 committed physical and psychological violence against him, forced him to write a refusal to see a lawyer and to take a new criminal offense.

Minsk District Court is considering the cases against five Minsk citizens, detained on 29 September in the Baravaya district. Artsyom Anishchuk is among them. 3 February 2021. Photo:

Volha Anishchuk, the wife of Artsyom Anishchuk, who was convicted to two years in prison for “damaging the car belonging to a police officer’s wife with a nail”, told the newspaper Novy Chas that her husband was finally able to visit his lawyer. She said he was able to be present at the interrogation by the investigator.

During the interrogation, the prisoner told the lawyer that physical and psychological violence was committed against him by the administration of Mahiliou penal colony #15, which had been going on continuously since his arrival there on April 17. As a result, he “swallowed metal objects in order to avoid further torture.”

The prisoner also said that he was forced under dictation to write letters to his relatives saying that everything was allegedly okay and to write refusals to see a lawyer. The interrogations were conducted without an investigator in the presence of four unknown people.

At present Anishchuk is in a cell-type prison, although he did not violate the regime. He has already spent 10 days in solitary confinement.

The prisoner explains his behavior by the fact that the head of the colony is friends with the victim in the criminal case of “damage to the car”. The head of the colony, according to the wife, personally told her husband “to choose” between the criminal article on “malicious disobedience to the demands of the administration of the penal institution” (Article 411 of the Criminal Code) and the article on “assault on a penal employee,” threatening violence against him and his family and reprisals against their relatives. The prisoner agreed to Article 411.

His wife is concerned about Artsyom Anishchuk’s condition, as she recalls other information about beatings and torture of political prisoners, new criminal articles against them, and the death behind bars of political prisoner Vitold Ashurok.