Commander Arbi Zarmaev, surrounded by Jan Boeykens and Jacqueline de Cro��. The hole in his hair is where he was scalped
The emotion and joy on April 26, 2011, of seeing the commander Zarmaev leaving the prison of Bruges alive is intense. He is the only one ever released from the "special individual security" regime in the Belgian prisons, in a state to reveal what is happening there. He was scalped in an area of 3cm in diameter. He has shrunk of 2 centimeter by dehydration. He is covered with scars from head to toe, out of "self-mutilation", according to the prison doctor.
Three Belgian prisons are provided with an SS block (Special Security), among which a secret one in the prison of Hasselt. The "state secret" has been kept because this SS block had been reserved to detainees serving life time sentences for serial murders and child abuse, which would probably have been avoided if justice did its job. They thus have no friends and no chance to be freed alive. The Council of State closed the Lantin SS block after a scandal in 1987 and 1988. Jo Vandeurzen, the former minister of justice gave these SS deportments a "legal framework" in 2008. There are 15 SS cells at the prison of Lantin and 10 SS cells at the prison of Bruges. We do not know how many of these cells are in Hasselt, because one year of detention there is not enough to discover it.
Stefaan De Clerck, who followed Vandeurzen, has reserved three of these sanction cells to Chechens political refugees. One arrived two years ago with a cancer. He is still detained there, his body distorted by pain, left without treatment. The magistrates tell him every two months of a new duty of inquiry that postpones his prosecution. Commander Zarmaev was detained there one year, and was not supposed to get out alive. The third Chechen has lost his legs in the war. He has been detained four months in an SS cell, in horrendous suffering due to the ban of the treatment he was prescribed... considering the danger he might roll away from a prison.
The SS cells are inspired by those of the so-called "Australian electronic zoo", closed in 1975 for a design in breach of respect for human rights. Their are just a few millimetres over 5m2. They are arranged so as to maximize the discomfort by reducing the space and light. They are divided in two by a grid, those of Hasselt in the diagonal to form a triangular cage.
The width of the bed is that of a stretcher, about 65 cm. The inmate has no right to a table or a chair to write a letter. The cells of Bruges are actually only 1m40 wide on 3m60 long. "They are better," says the commander "because you can walk along the bed." The Hasselt windows are tiny, in transparent glass, except in the "SS punishment cell", whose only difference is the frosted glass. The punishment this deprives of light. The windows of Bruges are "better" because they are larger, but in frosted glass behind a white wall. The Hasselt television works, not the one of Bruges which is for decoration. The toilet is equipped with a system that allows guards to shut off the water, so as to maintain the inmate in the smell of his excrements.
The first key element of the SS regime is a "moduled sensory isolation" according to the prisons, which is depriving automatically the detainee of access to consumer goods available to all other inmates at the canteen. They are thus deprived of fruits, vegetables, dairy products and mineral water. Muslims are also deprived of protein, because the normal regime only gives a quarter of a pork sausage. Given the danger of escape, they receive every day the same mashed potatoes with some green beans. Considering their dangerousness, the SS regime of Bruges deprives them of bread in the morning. They just get coffee without sugar.
Considering "they have nothing to lose and are ready to anything", the prisoners are banned from any stimulant 23 hours out of 24, such as reading or working. In Bruges, the toothbrushes, the toothpaste, the photographs of the family, the slippers, the newspapers, the radio, the television and even the watches are classed among the stimulants. Considering the risk of suicide, the guard of Bruges to check every quarter 15 minutes with a violent light, slamming noisily opening a check window, so that they cannot sleep.
The prisoner has the right to fresh air one hour per day in an open air cage of two meters out of three. He has no access to outdoor exercises. His ankles are shackled with a chain so as to limit the steps to 30cm and his hands are cuffed behind his back, with an exeption for those without legs, of course. "They tighten the handcuffs hard", said the commander. "It hurts". They thus are allowed a daily hour of torture.
The regime gives the right to one hour visit behind a window, which forbids parents to hug their children. The procedure to leave the cell is designed to prevent any physical contact without mutual agreement with the guards. If the prisoner accepts to get out, he must turn his back to the grid at the level of two open spaces, just large enough to allow the guard tightening handcuffs behind the back, and the shackles chaining the feet. The screen door and the main door of the cell can only be opened when it is impossible to for the prisoner to kick. The shackles and handcuffs are taken off for the hour of visit, and put on again for the little torture tour on the way back to the cell.
This last security measure, apart from the sadistic tightening of the handcuffs, is tolerable only for violent and uncontrollable psychiatric patients in a medical centre. The order of the doctors provide that these patients can only be detained in a centre that provides nursing staff qualified in psychiatric care in sufficient number.
The director of the prison is the only one authorised to request to open the door of a cell, either for an involuntary extraction, or during the night, between 10:00 pm and 6:00, under the law on the protection of privacy of inmates. The procedure provides that the director has personally seen a force majeure issue that justifies to order the opening of the door. An extra security is assured to the prisoner by the compulsory presence of six guards. At the origin, the detainee could lock himself in his cell, in such a way that it was necessary to call a locksmith. The "legal framework" of Vandeurzen deactivated the locks.
The director of the Bruges prison has motivated the opening of Commander Zarmaev's cell one night in November 2009 due to a "threat to the guards". Yet, we have seen that the regulation bans the guards from opening the door at night and that the SS regime does not allow them to let a prisoner out of the cell without feet chained and fists tied behind the back. It is thus technically impossible to a detainee of a SS block to threaten anybody.
The procedure requests from the director to have personally seen a case of force majeure that obliges the intervention team to "control the detainee who is threatening the guard", thus following the violation of the detainee's private life. The intervention teams "get a special training of one month. They are paid an extra 150 euros per months due the danger of their mission", as "Vandeurzen solution" to select teams of six guards, who ensure the confidentiality of the procedure.
As the director doubled the intervention team for the Commander, which proves a project planned in advance. He indeed had to plan two teams, though the prison employs only one team at a time. To "control the commander who was threatening a guard", twelve men filled his cell, covered him with his mattress, broke him three ribs and carried on hitting until he lost consciousness. He ounce asked them why they were doing such things. They answere that "the orders came from above, that it was their job: that it was how they earned their lives."
Meanwhile, he was sentenced on November 23, 2009, to nine days in a "punishment isolation cell" with broken ribs, bare foot and in a T- shirt in an unheated cell, without a blanket and a ban of access to his winter clothes, with three broken ribs, in such a way that they heel of-set. The regulation provides that the doctor assures that the sanction decided by the Disciplinary Board cannot harm the health of the prisoner. He then has to go every day with the Deputy Director to see the prisoner and ensure that the sanction can be carried on. It is thus the doctor who has authorised a tenth day, December, 1rst 2009, when the temperature had droped to 5°C for two days. A psychiatrist is employed part-time at the hospital St John of Bruges, the other part-time at the prison.
I do not take these testimonies that prove what has happened, but the three broken ribs that heeled off-set by lack of the necessary surgery and the SS regulation that prevents that a guard may be threatened. Further more, the procedure satisfies the law prohibiting to maintain a penalty regime over two months "unless a recurrence justifies renewing it". Commander Zarmaev was kept 23 months in an SS isolation regime under the basis of lies.
He was transferred to the prison of Oudenaarde January 5, 2010. On January 12, 2010, four federal police officers of Bruges came to fetch him at 9:00 am, to take him to his trial at the court in Ghent. They handcuffed his hands behind his back, shackled his feet, put him the eye blindness glasses, hooded him and pushed into a vehicle. They have beaten him because he was praying to loud, brought him back covered by blood at the prison Audenaerde 20 minutes later, where the doctor gave him seven stitches. Meanwhile, he was sentenced to 15 months in prison for a robbery with bodily injury to stab that the victim, another Chechen refugee, had attributed to an Albanian.
This time, the regulation shows that the orders came from the justice department in Brussels. Indeed, the procedure was not respected and the direction of the prison administration is the only one allowed to modify it. The transfer depends on the organisation of the place of detention and the place of destination. The General Direction has thus given to civil-servants of Bruges a mission that depended on civil-servants of Ghent and Oudenaarde. The consequence was that Commander Zarmaev could not assist to the false fault of procedure organised by the ministry to maintain the arbitrary detention.
Commander Zarmaev was sent at the Hasselt prison in March 2010. The psychiatrist diagnosed a violent schizophrenia, without asking him a question. He has prescribed to embed CLOPIXOL, a narcoleptic, in his food and coffee.
The commander understood he was drugged by the side effects, which causes dizziness, tremors, and suicidal thoughts in a quarter of an hour. He has decided he would survive on dry bread and water, rather than eating drugged food, known to be given in Russian prisons to drive political prisoners to suicide. He has been wilfully starved, decalcified and deprived of vitamins by denial to grant him the right of all prisoners to buy fruits, vegetables and milk in the canteen. The doctor has maintained the ban to buy an orange or an apple, even when the bones of his neck stood out. As he could not manage to drug him, he prescribed to shoot at him darts of long-term narcoleptic, one per month since January, with a pistol normally reserved for zoological veterinary medicine.
De Clerk awarded himself the power of a dictator on March 8, 2011, when he ordered the deportation of commander Zarmaev in Russia. The brother of another Chechen refugee deported by De Clerck managed to reduce his sentence to 5 years prison for 20.000 euros.
Men, heads shaved and entirely tattooed, dressed with uniforms of guards came to fetch him for the visit his brother, on April 15. They cuffed and shackled him, tightened up at the maximum so as to cause acute pain and then let him out of the cell. They raised his arms by force behind his back to make him bent in pain and kicked him until he fell to the ground. They beaten him until he lost consciousness.
He was then sanctioned with nine days of isolation for "having provoked a conflict with the guards by superimposing all his clothes to be punished in order to the avoid extradition", said the press. He would have succeeded, feet shackled, hands tied behind his back and in the health condition of a survivor of Auschwitz, "to send two guards at the hospital." He was deprived of food and water, which is liable to cause a deadly dehydration as from the third day, because he was unable to stand-up to remove the shackles "according to regulation".
The assassination attempt was interrupted on the fourth day, when his sister found us on Internet. The transfer to Bruges on April 19 was motivated by the need to treat injuries on the ankles and wrists showing the bones, caused by four days tight block shackles. The justice department does not recognize dehydration, thus the necessity of hydration protocol. Nevertheless, the unilateral recognition of the injuries prove a double attempted murder, since the regulation has "obliged" to cuff the hands behind the back and that it is physically impossible to pour a glass of water and drink it with hands tied behind the back.
The minister had the choice between murdering the commander "naturally" by refusing the dialysis to unblock his kidneys blocked by dehydration, or locking him in psychiatry, which is the equivalent of a life time sentence. However, the Hasselt SS regime has not drugged him enough (three shots of long action Clopixol) to justify an internment. The SS block Bruges provides the solution with its six teams of six guards required by law to "control inmates who threaten the guards" and the daily involuntary extracting necessary to drug them by force.
The team is directed by a nutcase entirely covered with a plastic uniform, clearly to prevent that he may be recognised. The uniform consists of a jumpsuit, slippers, gloves and a balaclava. There is nothing to identify him, except the regulation which recognizes him the qualification of nurse or doctor, as sole authorized to administer injections. It might be the psychiatrist, whose part-time employment and qualification would allow him to drug by force the detainees of the ten cells of that SS block. The operation would take 20 minutes per inmate.
The hooded man leads the operation in silence so as to prevent that the detainee can recognize his voice. The guards enter the cell, which is so narrow that the prisoner has to go on his bed. They put him in a straight jacket that blocks his legs and arms, and then put him in a wheelchair. They bring him to the medical practice. The hooded man inserts the narcoleptic in the mouth and blocks the jaws. Arbi was blocking the narcoleptic in a hollow tooth until he was back in the cell, where he could spit it into the toilet. The advantage of this regime, insofar one has a hollow tooth, is that food is no more drugged. He could thus start eating again and gain weight.
The Council of State, who foresaw the need for "long time" to solve the thorny problem, decided in full speed that a minister had the right to decide the opposite of a motivated judgment. The European Court of Human Rights decided on April, 5 "not to extradite the applicant to Russia pending the outcome of the Supreme proceedings before the State Council."
The mess is such at the Court of Strasburg that the faxes get lost, so that a request for urgent hospitalization could not be judged. De Clerck no longer has the right to sell Commander Zarmaev to Putin, but he has the right to keep him hostage. It was too tempting for the new dictator. He was not able to resist, since there is no political opposition in Belgium and that the State Council can not be required to set aside its own decision.
We are thus on the way to the Court of Luxembourg, the highest court in the European Union in matters of European Union law.
Fondation Princesses de Croÿ ; et Massimo Lancellotti - 10 Rue Faider - 1060 Bruxelles - Belgique - Droit de réponse: firstname.lastname@example.org