By Murat Sultangaliev
19 prisoners of SIZO (pre-trial detention center) cut their veins in Atyrau. The incident happened on January 24 approximately at noon. They slashed their wrists in protest against beatings by prison staff, they said.
We were informed about this by the prisoners’ relatives. They wrote an application to prosecutor's office. The city first aid station employees, who responded to the call, said that the prisoners did not allow doctors to provide immediate medical help. They demanded that first they wanted to meet the prosecutor. After the meeting with the prosecutor, the paramedics entered the cells.
We phoned the pre-trial detention center, but the person on duty only said that detention management is “on territory".
According to the first aid station employees, they provided medical assistance to 19 prisoners. They all had cuts on both wrists. Two of them required urgent medical assistance in traumatologic centre, but the pre-trial detention center officers said that they will bring them to the medical facility themselves.
Only on January 27 the regional prosecutor's office distributed information about the incident. The press release reads: “On January 24, 2013, certain prisoners of the pre-trial detention centre UG-157/1 of Atyrau Oblast deliberately self-harmed. Their actions were motivated by disagreement with the treatment in the prison. The ambulance crew rendered an appropriate medical help. Currently their condition is stable and they don’t require hospitalization. The prosecutor's office is checking the reasons of the incident occurrence on the basis of statements made by the persons held in custody.”