The lawyer Anastasia Lazarenko, a political prisoner, was sentenced to six years in prison. Nastya’s former cellmate shared a story about her. We publish her story:
“At first glance, Nastya seems very strong, and after some interaction, you understand that she indeed has that core. But she has also a very kind heart and a rare ability to sympathize, which is so hard to keep in prison. Nastya was very helpful with legal matters for everyone. Such people are always trying to break, but I really hope that this won’t happen. It was thanks to Nastya and her activism that we received treatment and X-rays after another bout of COVID-19. Although the doctors delayed this matter to the extent that we all developed chronic rhinitis and sinusitis, and everyone became very weakened.
Nastya maintained order very well and helped us settle in, including with everyday details, especially for newcomers. We were all so happy when she started receiving postcards and packages from volunteers. There is a severe lack of vitamins and variety in food there. After May 2023, the news reported that the conditions of transferring to pre-trial detention center had changed – almost all medicines were banned, except foreign insulin. Nastya was recently supposed to be transferred to a colony, where it is especially difficult psychologically. While you can get used to work, even it’s meaningless and hard, but you can’t get used to denunciations and nerve-wracking. All “political” people are assigned a snitch, and it is very exhausting day by day.”
Any colony is a close contact with other prisoners. In the women’s colony, if someone falls ill, others quickly catch it.
One of such diseases is scabies, which is difficult to cure in a closed institution. Many political prisoners have also encountered scabies, but the colony system is organized in such a way that regular scabies treatment is impossible to obtain.