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On 10 August, staff of DPR Human Rights Ombudsman Office visit Donetsk correctional colony of the State Service for Execution of Punishment of the DPR Ministry of Justice.

As part of the visit to the correctional colony, human rights defenders carried out inspection of the conditions of detention of persons serving sentences, they also paid special attention to the observance of convicts’ rights by the administration of the correctional facility.

Staff of the Ombudsman Office met the executives of the Donetsk correctional colony and discussed prisoners’ living conditions, cultural and disciplinary issues, as well as medical treatment, education and employment of prisoners in conditions of a penitentiary institution.

By the time of the visit, 340 convicts have been serving their sentences in the institution.

As a result of the inspection, Ombudsman Office staff concluded the following:

General regulations for detainees

– Persons serving a sentence are accommodated in separate two-storey buildings. Convicts are provided with personal hygiene products and seasonal clothing, taking into account weather conditions. Wake-up and lights-out time is strictly according to the schedule, however, on weekends and holidays, the schedule is shifted for 1 hour later.

– There is a special room for taking meals that meets all sanitary standards. In addition, a bakery operates on the territory of the correctional colony and there is a subsidiary farm. In addition, there is a trade point where food and personal items are sold in the territory of the institution. Convicts are allowed to receive food parcels from relatives in accordance with the established procedure without restriction as to their number, although within the limit of 35 kg.

– In accordance with the current legislation, convicts have the right to visits: short-term – once a month, long-term – twice a month with close relatives, but with the exception of those convicts who are held in CTR (cell-type rooms) and disciplinary cells, in accordance with the Penal Enforcement Code of Ukraine (as revised in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic).

Medical service

– On the territory of the colony, there is a Donetsk multi-profile hospital (200 beds). There are a medical ward, surgery department and special departments with an enhanced control unit and a quarantine zone. In the hospital, upon approval of the Administration, convicts serving sentences in other correctional colonies of the Donetsk People’s Republic can undergo treatment as well, if they have diseases that demand treatment in a specialized institution. In case it is impossible to provide the necessary medical assistance to a convicted person, he/she will be transferred to the appropriate medical institution in Donetsk, where convicts are brought under escort of the colony staff.

Currently, according to the information provided, in connection with the requests submitted to the SSEP MJ of the DPR, it is planned to modernize medical equipment that does not fully meet modern standards due to the long period of using.

Cultural recreation

– A club with a capacity of 300 to 500 people has been opened in the correctional facility for cultural recreation of convicts. Also, an Orthodox room is available in a separate building in order to fulfil the religious needs of convicts (once a week, on Sundays, the room is visited by a priest).

Educational Process

– On the territory of the penitentiary institution, there is a school (despite the fact that all convicts are of legal age), as well as a vocational school to obtain a specialized secondary education (a group of 40 people). Educators of the Ministry of Education of the Donetsk People’s Republic teach in these institutions.

Employment

-The convicts are involved in labour in accordance with the legislation in force in the DPR (8-hour working day). Payment for labour activity is made timely by transferring money to personal accounts. All works are carried out on the territory of the industrial zone of the correctional colony in accordance with the regulations. Within the correctional facility, there is a sewing factory and a woodshop.

After the inspection was carried out, staff of the Ombudsman Office conducted a reception of citizens who needed personal legal advice.

Human rights defenders have answered all questions of the convicts, namely:

– provided clarification on imposing of punishment by partial cumulative sentencing,

– Informed about the order and conditions of movement of a person that has served his/her sentence, in the absence of an identity document (passport), and also pointed out the legal grounds for receiving the passport of a citizen of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

– told about the procedure of appealing against a decision not to institute a criminal proceeding in accordance with the Criminal Procedural Code of Ukraine (as revised in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic). In this case, a convicted person received a recommendation to send another complaint accompanied by the copies of the necessary documents to the DPR Human Rights Ombudsman.

Also, the issue of transfer of persons (convicted before 2014), who expressed a desire to serve their sentence in the territory of Ukraine, remains acute. In this case, citizens were given clarification on the transfer of convicts in accordance with the Decree of the Head of the DPR No. 424 of 12.11.2015.

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