Prisoners in Brest detention center tortured, inmate claims

Palina Sharenda-Panasyuk during protests against Decree No. 3 in Brest. Photo: Belsat

Brest resident Palina Sharenda-Panasyuk was able to pass a letter to freedom during her stay in pre-trial detention center No. 7, in which she wrote about torture.

Palina Sharenda-Panasyuk wrote that on according to paragraph 31.2 of the jail document, detainees are obliged to remain in a sitting position from 6:00 to 22:00, in fact, for 16 hours, and are threatened with punishment cell for any attempt to lie down.

“It is well known that a sedentary lifestyle is a factor that negatively affects health. Even healthy prisoners after just a few days have stomach problems, spine pain, blood pressure starts to spike. Medical care in these cases in detention centers is not provided in full, the treatment is symptomatic,” writes Palina.

According to the prisoner, the detention center is actually one hundred percent carbohydrate diet. For example, there were vegetables in the diet at the end of January. Palina put the date of 24 February in her letter.

“I believe that paragraph 31.2 is a direct threat to the physical and mental health of prisoners in detention center #7 and, in fact, is a legalized torture,” said Palina Sharenda-Panasyuk in her letter.

The activist was detained in her own apartment on January 3. A criminal case under Art. 364 (“Violence or threat of violence against an employee of the Interior”) was filed against her. The woman has been kept in custody for almost three months, now she is in a punishment cell of Minsk detention center #1. This punishment will end only on 2 April, after which Palina Sharenda-Panasyuk is likely to be transferred back to detention center # 7 in Brest.

The mother of two minor children has not yet been recognized as a political prisoner.