DPR Ombudsman continues to monitor respect to human rights of citizens serving sentences in penitentiaries of the Republic.
Representatives of the Ombudsman Office conducted an inspection of detention conditions of persons serving their sentences in Torez Penal Colony of the State Penitentiary Service of the DPR Ministry of Justice. At the time of the visit, there were 581 convicts (men, adults) in the penitentiary.
The human rights defenders met the executives of the Torez Penal Colony and discussed prisoners’ living conditions, cultural and disciplinary issues, as well as medical treatment, education and employment of prisoners in conditions of the penitentiary institution.
The convicts are kept in seven resocialization groups with rooms for disciplinary activities. Wake-up time is at 6 am, and lights-out time is at 22 pm, three meals daily. There are a bakery and a subsidiary farm on the territory of the colony.
Special attention was paid to medical care in the Penal Colony. There are an infirmary and a medical unit fully provided with medicines and disinfectants. The medical equipment available in the colony is owned by the SSEP MJ of the DPR, namely: a digital x-ray Kodak Point-of-Care CR 120, an ECG machine SE-1, two air sterilizers (GP-20 и GP-40), irradiators, a dental installation, microscopes, a MRTA-02 (magnetic resonance therapy apparatus), a photocolorimeter, an iridoscope.
Currently, 8 persons are undergoing medical treatment. Activities to prevent communicable diseases are organised. Medical examination of newly-arrived convicts is carried out, including general clinical tests and radiography of the chest. Also, bacterial irradiators are used for air disinfection.
Convicted persons are provided with short and long visits in due course. There are 12 rooms for long meetings, which are furnished with necessary furniture and equipment.
There is a school where convicts can obtain secondary and special education. Currently, 62 persons attend secondary school and 100 persons attend vocational school.
In accordance with the current DPR legislation (Criminal Executive Code of Ukraine), convicts are allowed to work if they wish. The institution is specialized in manufacturing products from metal frames, as well as wooden products.
There are 36 persons who work in workshops of the Labor Adaptation Centre. Normally, they have one working shift according to the approved schedule. Workers in the production area are provided with workwear and other personal protective equipment. The convicts get paid in accordance with the current legislation.
There is a club with a capacity of 425 persons, where cultural events are held, including watching movies through a movie projector. There are lots of musical instruments for organizing the leisure of convicts. In separate premises, there is a library.
In addition, there is an Orthodox Church with some spiritual literature and a font. On Saturdays and holidays, worship is conducted.
Also, staff of the DPR Ombudsman Office provided legal advice for citizens on issues relating to criminal procedure and clarified the procedure for filing an appeal with the Human Rights Ombudsman Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Six convicts asked for legal advice on the following issues:
- Transfer to the territory of Ukraine to continue serving their sentence (persons convicted by Ukrainian courts before 2014);
- Application of the Ukrainian law “On amnesty in the DPR”;
- Application of Ukrainian courts’ verdicts in the territory of the Republic;
- Refusal of local courts to apply early release on parole.
As a result of the inspection, staff of DPR Ombudsman Office gave a positive assessment of detention conditions and operation of the colony.