• Urgent Action

Urgent Action: Protect Rights of Juvenile Prisoners (Belarus: UA 36.19)

March 21, 2019

Emil Astrauko and Vasily Sauchanka are held in a juvenile prison in Belarus in conditions which violate their human rights and are subjected to harassment and discrimination by the prison authorities. Following flawed trials in 2018, they were sentenced to 10 years in prison each for minor drug offences. They were 17 years old at the time of their arrest. Their case is emblematic of thousands of teenagers imprisoned in appalling conditions following unfair trials for minor drug-related offenses.

  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  2. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 36.19. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.
Head of Corrective Colony, Syarhei Maslyukou Corrective Colony No.2, vul. Batava 4 Babruisk 213807, Belarus Email: [email protected]
H.E. Mr. Pavel Shidlovsky Embassy of Belarus 1619 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington DC 20009 Phone: 202 986 9420 I Fax: 202 986 1805 Email: [email protected] Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Head of Colony, I am concerned about the treatment of Emil Astrauko and Vasily Sauchanka who are held in your colony in inhumane conditions, that contravene the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules) and are subjected to discrimination. Emil Astrauko suffers from chronic bronchial asthma. However, the medication which he should have with him at all times is kept separately, which exposes him to a serious health risk. The colony also fails to provide regular health-checks which he requires. The shoes and clothes provided by the colony are too small or seasonally inadequate and, due to poor facilities, often damp. Imprisoned when they were 17 years old, Emil and Vasily have no access to educational provisions and instead are being forced to work long hours doing manually strenuous work without adequate rest or protective equipment. The poor quality and inadequate provision of food have seen both of them lose considerable weight. I am concerned that they are being discriminated against because they were convicted for drug-related offenses, including by being forced to wear clothes that differentiates them from other detainees, and they are denied access to the colony’s recreational facilities. I have also learned that parcels delivered by their families are being distributed amongst other prisoners. I urge you to ensure that Emil Astrauko is allowed to carry his vital medication with him at all times. Emil Astrauko and Vasily Sauchanka, and every prisoner must be provided with regular medical checks, adequate food, clothing and the necessary health and safety equipment to carry out any work required of them. They must be given adequate periods of rest and have access to educational provision and all recreational facilities in the colony. Their clothing should not differ from other prisoners and the authorities must cease harassing and targeting them. Yours sincerely, ADDITIONAL RESOURCES