Sasha Kolchenko: Letter from Kopeysk Prison

By Tatiana Shchur, human rights activist on news received from Ukrainian political prisoner in Russia Sasha Kolchenko
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

Tatiana Shchur writes on her Facebook page:

Sasha Kolchenko

On March 16, 2018, a lawyer working under contract with the Ural Human Rights Group visited Oleksandr Kolchenko in Kopeysk IK-6 [penal colony N6 in the city of Kopeysk, Chelyabinsk oblast, Russia]…

Behind the dry words of this report, I try to hide my furious outrage over what I learned from him. Sasha is being kept in SHIZO [isolation cell] since March 8. He was placed there for 13 days, allegedly for unescorted movement precisely through areas where he and the other convicts go without a guard as a rule: the library, the dining room … Yes, formally, this is a cause for disciplining a convict, but it is only applied when it benefits the authorities.

Let me remind you that Kolchenko recently spent 10 days in isolation at New Year’s for a “dress infraction,” in which he did not sew a name tag onto the clothes he was given as a temporary replacement for his pea jacket, which was being laundered for the holidays. (They placed him there just after he received the telegram with New Year’s greetings from the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs). This measure is called “reinforcement.” They use it for all holidays, special dates and events, such as elections, visits, festivals…

The current incarceration is especially vile, because the day before it, we delivered his long-awaited parcel, which the guy is in dire need of, as the doctors diagnosed him with heart rhythm problems. Now Sasha will receive this package only after the isolation cell, and who knows if it makes it to him at all!

And now we’re left to wonder: is this just red tape and prison life as usual, or a response to protests against torture, of which Sasha’s local anarchist support group is suspected, or whether this is part of the system of bullying applied to political prisoners. Or whether it’s all of the above: meanness, stupidity, muck!

Well, aside from that, Sasha is doing okay, he has no complaints about anything, sends greetings to all and thanks for the support.

Source: Tatiana Shchur FB 


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