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Suicide attempt by prisoners in Berdyansk

21.08.2006    source: www.bbc.co.uk

The State Department of Ukraine for the Execution of Punishments has confirmed information regarding a collective suicide attempt by prisoners of the Berdyansk Penal Colony in the Zaporizhye region.

Five prisoners attempted suicide in order to improve the regime in the penal institution.

A number of Ukrainian Internet websites reported that 20 prisoners had tried to take their life. An unofficial report said that this was in protest at the actions of the administration of the colony.

The State Department for the Execution of Punishments confirmed to the BBC that an incident had taken place, however commented that the five inmates had been trying to shorten their time.

“The five people were demanding a milder regime. That is all in fact that I am able to say. The institution is an institution and it has its regime which cannot be infringed”, a spokesperson from the Department for the Execution of Punishments Oksana Vyelkova-Lahoda stated.

According to her, a special commission has been studying the circumstances and motives for the incident.

In Ukraine this is already the third suicide attempt by prisoners in protest at the actions of the management of the given penal institution. As reported, such attempts were made by inmates of the Kharkiv SIZO [pre-trial detention centre] and the Lviv penal colony.*

*  for information about the Lviv incident see:  http://khpg.org/en/1148774883

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