Vasyl Parfiankou: Here everyone is aware that I am punished for “politics”

The opposition activists visited Vasily Parfiankou in the medical and labour centre No. 1 in Svetlahorsk.

Illia Dabratvor gave the details about the meeting to Charter97. The member of the Razam movement, visited the special detention facility. He gave Vasily Parfiankou the documents prepared by a lawyer and human rights activists for appealing against the decision to place him in the medical and labour centre.

-The visit lasted for an hour and a half. We gave him the documents to appeal against the court decision. Vasily Parfiankou was to send them personally on the same day- Illia Dabratvor said.

He explained that a medical and labour centre is something between prison and military unit having nothing in common with a medical facility.

-Medical and labour centres are places for modern slaves. Their main task is to bring income. Sentencing Vasily Parfiankou to a term in this facility is a demonstration of political pressure on activists. The authorities want to isolate him from public activity. It is psychological pressure on him and non-convicted activists. Vasily said that everyone knew he was there for politics- Illia Dabratvor said.

Opposition activists were not allowed to pass a cell phone to Parfiankou, though it is permitted by the rules. Correctional officers explained they didn’t have enough lockers to keep the cell phone. They didn’t accept a telephone card and said Parfiankou must buy it in a shop.

-He works in a wood processing shop. Vasily was transferred from the quarantine cell to unit No. 2. He tried to look cheerful, but we saw that the situation is difficult for him. Besides food, we tried to give him cough pills, but correctional officers didn’t allow to do it. Vasily says there are doctors, but there’s no place to buy medicines. They prescribe only the medicines they have, so the same pill can be used for different diseases – Illia Dabratvor said.

Vasily Parfiankou was arrested for participating in the protest rally against the rigged results of the 2010 presidential elections, that took place on 19 December 2010. He was released, but was imprisoned again on accusations of violating the rules of militia supervision. The opposition activist was released in February 2013.

On 5 September, the Minsk’s Pershamaiski district court sentenced him in absentia to a term in the medical and labour centre. The court’s decision violates the article 393-9, part 4 of the Civil Procedure Code of Belarus that says: “An application for sending a person to a medical and labour centre shall be considered within 10 days after it is filed to a court with participation of a representative of the law-enforcement bodies, a prosecutor and the person named in the application for sending him or her to a medical and labour centre.” Part 6 of the same article reads: “If the person named in the application fails to appear in a court, he can be taken to a court forcefully.”

Human rights defenders regard the practice of enforced isolation of citizens in medical and labour centres outside criminal prosecution as a violation of human rights.


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Other political prisoners