Journalist Karpitskaya describes inhumane treatment she faced in jail

Katsyaryna Karpitskaya. Photo: Kacia Karpickaja / Facebook

The journalist Katsyaryna Karpitskaya recently made a post on Facebook about a month of her detention in the Akrestsina jail. She left the circumstances of her arrest for a separate post.

“Thirty days there in today’s conditions was enough for me to come out with several diseases — from pharyngotracheitis to cystitis and corona (by the way, it was a vaccination that helped to endure the latter quite easily compared to my cellmates). And people are kept there for 60 days or more, depending on how many protocols they want to add,” wrote the journalist.

According to her, detainees “are never taken to the shower and are not even given brushes from their personal belongings,” and “sometimes we had to beg for another centimeter of toilet paper.

And these are not the only restrictions and tortures the inmates face.

“People have been jailed for months without any walks (air could only get to our cell #15 from the corridor through the “feeder,” but they closed it on purpose all the time). People are without mattresses (our pillow was moldy bread, and it would still have been possible to sleep on the bare floor or a bunk, but the nights were freezing — even hugging each other and putting a hot water bottle between our legs, we could not stop shivering. The nights turned into a set of exercises — squats, push-ups, standing in the plank pose — somehow getting warm to fall asleep). People are kept there without sleep (at two and four in the morning, we were woken up for roll call; also, there were bright artificial lights on 24/7). People are denied parcels (many women were arrested at work or the dacha in skirts and dresses, and they lay there for nights on the cold floor until someone who was released took off their sweatshirts or underwear or socks. The brush I had inherited had been used by about five other people before that, I think. And the t-shirt I had, had been worn by the mother of the ‘Khlopotnoye deltse’ man.”

According to the journalist, the prisoners are half-starved, without adequate medical care.

In addition, prisoners with lice, intestinal disorders, and fungus and withdrawal syndrome are deliberately put in the same cell as the political ones.

“They forbid us to sit and sleep, they insult us, but we keep joking, and we can hear laughter coming from the cells — all this really irritates the staff of the jail,” notes Katsyaryna Karpitskaya.

She will write complaints about torture and crimes against the Belarusians to the state institutions, “although they will later say that these facts were not confirmed.”