The Belarusian Helsinki Committee appealed to the Minsk Region Prosecutor’s Office in connection with the suspension of parcels imposed by the administration of the Zhodino Center for Temporary Detention of the Minsk Regional Executive Committee.
We request that appropriate steps by the Procurator should be taken to abolish suspension of parcels imposed by the administration of the Zhodino Center for Temporary Detention of the Minsk Regional Executive Committee, which contradicts the Constitution and other legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus, as well as international human rights standards.
We recall that the facility ceased to accept parcels for persons under administrative arrest since 27 January, citing as reasons the will to reduce the risks of COVID 19. In our opinion, there are other means of reducing these risks. For example, the Ministry of Health recommends practicing respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette, social distancing, frequent aeration and sanitizing, avoiding common-use tableware, etc.
We also draw the attention of the Prosecutors to the following aspects (here several points are cited, a complete list can be found in the full version):
— suspension of parcels is a response inadequate to the stated goal that disproportionately aggravates the situation of those arrested. In accordance with article 25 of the Constitution, no one should be subjected to torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;
— the purpose of the administrative penalty is to apply correctional measures to those guilty of administrative offenses, as well as to prevent the commission of new offenses both by those who have committed such an offense and by other individuals (Article 6.1. of the Administrative Code), but not to inflict mental and physical suffering on them;
— our country has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. According to article 10 of this Covenant, all persons deprived of their liberty have the right to humane treatment and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.