Belarusian political prisoners color-coded

The Homiel penal colony for women. Homiel, Belarus. April 8, 2021. Photo: AV / Belsat

Relatives of prisoners report that prisoners convicted on political grounds have different colored tags on their clothes than other prisoners. Previously, such a practice has been extended to prisoners convicted of drug trafficking, reports Nasha Niva.

In places of detention, prisoners’ clothing is tagged with the name of the prisoner and the term of imprisonment. The tag is usually white. But relatives of prisoners in Mahiliou voblast noticed that the political prisoners had red tags.

“They put a red tag. It means he is ‘prone to extremism’. He can’t say over the phone or in a letter what the reason was — it is forbidden to discuss such topics. But he received such a status almost immediately after he got in the camp. We were told this could mean the reduction of parcels and visits from relatives,” said a relative of a political prisoner.

Previously, prisoners convicted of drug trafficking were marked with green tags and placed in separate units. But relatives of the prisoners sent a complaint to the UN, acknowledging that this was discrimination. Then the colony administration abandoned this approach, and prisoners were given the same tags as everyone else – white.