Kazakhstan: two inmates in Kazakh prison swallow spoons to protest conditions

Two inmates in a prison in Kazakhstan’s western region of Manghystau have swallowed spoons to protest against prison conditions, prompting an inspection of the facility by representatives of the Public Monitoring Commission and the National Preventive Mechanism -- groups created to prevent torture and rights abuses in the Central Asian country's penitentiaries.

The regional State Penitentiary Service said on April 25 that the incident had taken place four days earlier, adding that the two inmates were provided with medical assistance and their “current health state is satisfactory.

Inmates in Kazakhstan’s penitentiaries often maim themselves to protest brutality from guards or abuses of their rights. They usually slit their wrists or cut their abdomens. Swallowing spoons or other objects is very rare.

We visited the penitentiary at the invitation of the administration of the facility. We talked to the inmates in a group and individually. We listened to all sides. All the statements will be thoroughly investigated” the leader of the National Preventive Mechanism in the region, Aleksandr Mukha, said.

No more details were provided.