The vicissitudes of the war in Donbas a topic concerning tens of thousands of people meanwhile remains unnoticed. These people are prisoners which found themselves by a twist of fate in prison camps and penal colonies on the territory of "peoples' republics". If weak, but still sounding voices about prisoners of war and civilians kept in cellars of "MGB" still reach the wide public, and they are usually silent about convicts.
Recently, a man has written to me that today is serving a sentence in one of the prison camps of the so-called "LPR". Facebook was the last hope for him providing the opportunity to be heard and to describe his situation.
Below is a part of our correspondence. For obvious reasons, personal data of my correspondent can not be publicly available. But the overall situation of prisoners in "republics" appears in its entire terrible "beauty".
-To start, please, a few words about yourself: what you think possible to say. And why did you decide to write me?
- I can not give any personal data. Call me Alexander; it does not matter.
Today, I serve time in a penal colony in the territory of "LPR". In the middle of noughties I was convicted and in a few years got distribution into the Luhansk region, because I'm from the central Ukraine. Well, in 2014, our penal colony has automatically appeared under control of the "republic".
I appeal to you as a serious Ukrainian blogger and journalist. I will not ask for money or get anything done, I need the help of another kind. I have a family that would take me back to Ukraine, but it is difficult to achieve something in "LPR", and Ukrainian authorities say that they have no data about my location. The Ukrainian ombudsman also can not do anything. There are thousands of such abandoned people here. Therefore, I address to you. Could you kick up a shindy on this issue? Perhaps, it will result in initiation to establish a relevant committee in the parliament or in the Minsk negotiation Group. I am a shrimp, and you can be heard.
- Tell me, whom you or your family has been addressed with this issue to?
- My mother called the hotline of the Penitentiary Service several times, and they say "we do not have any data". Though she informed them on the specific address of the prison camp, and my personal data. More, my kindreds called to the ombudsman Lutkovskaya, and she promised to bring me into some lists, but it is unknown whether she made that and whether there will be any progress.
- And what is now the general situation and the atmosphere of the "republican" prison camps?
- The situation is pretty sad. Often our food is some slops, security is a swine to us, but the worst thing is the local "anti-riot police". You can gain fractured ribs easily and for nothing, within sight of the public prosecutor which should prevent this. The courts did not really work, so there is no anyone at least to begin solving the question about early release on parole. And a few thousand people are in such a situation, in 2014 there were about 15,000, now about 5-7 thousand people from Ukraine remain here; they are not locals but from other regions.
- That is, frankly speaking, your interest is in such nuances as early release on parole, and not in incarceration conditions or tough conditions? I should notice that, for example, not every penal colony allows access to the Internet.
- Of course, early release on parole would be important to me, and I do not hide this. But at the same time a bedlam which happening here is going just a bit too far.
And in general, I am a citizen of Ukraine, this state has deprived me of liberty, so let it be so kind to carry out its responsibilities, at least to ensure my safety. A law is a law, and the double standard can not be used here.
The Internet mentioned by you is absolutely illegal here, and you can not imagine how expensive it is for me here. This is just a last link with "that" side and a hope that at least something would get under way. Okay, all of this are emotions.
Interview by Stanislav Vasin for "OstroV", Donetsk
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