Prisoners beaten for complaining about lack of fresh air?


At a press conference on Tuesday, human rights activists provided information they have been able to receive about the beating of prisoners by a Special Forces unit at Penal Colony No. 89 in Dnipropetrovsk on 5 July.

Ihor Harkavenko explained that the prisoners had previously complained of poor conditions, particularly the lack of fresh air, as well as of not receiving sufficient food and drink.  He said that it was after these complaints, on 5 July, that a Special Forces unit was deployed, on the order of the prison administration. The prisoners suffered serious injuries, and had, he said, declared a hunger strike which is still continuing.

The Department for the Execution of Sentences has denied that prisoners were beaten.  . Ihor Harkavenko said that some members of human rights organizations had been permitted to visit the penal colony, however the head of the administration had kept away, avoiding having to speak with them.

Volodymyr Chemerys added that the use of MIA Special Force units is presently prohibited, yet despite this, according to information which human rights groups have at their disposal, they remained widely deployed.

It is believed that 15 prisoners suffered injuries on 5 July.

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