Prisoner in coma after beaten by guards

Differing accounts leave many questions of how and why a prisoner was beaten so badly by guards.

Ilava prison, illustrative stock photoIlava prison, illustrative stock photo (Source: Sme)

A sentenced man in the Ilava prison suffered a serious head injury after being beaten by prison guards; he has been in an induced coma for three weeks, while also on lung ventilation.The prison guards claim he attacked them, the Sme daily wrote on its website on October 14. But it was the public TV channel RTVS which first broke the story on its Facebook page.

"When the walk outside was to end, the inmate repeatedly disobeyed the call of the guards on duty, talked coarsely, and physically attacked one of them. After another failed call to stop this, holds, grips and blows of self-defence were used against him during which he was injured,” spokesman of the Prison Guard Corps, Adrián Baláž, told the RTVS.

However, the family of the injured man sees the situation differently – one of the other prisoners wrote to his mother that the man in the coma did not attack them physically, only verbally. Moreover, the family accuses the guards of not giving first aid immediately which caused brain damage.

"The guards were already saying he would be beaten when he was taken from the cell,” the mother of the injured told RTVS. “My son reacted to the guards, but only verbally. But this does not mean he attacked them as they accuse him of. Of course, now they defend themselves the best they can; the sentenced is always guilty. But why did they beat him so vigorously – my son does not even know whether he is alive.”

The man is in an induced coma in the Trenčím prison hospital. The Ilava prison has already asked police to investigate the incident and have initiated prosecution. The guards are still on duty and none of them has been charged so far. Ombudswoman Jana Dubovcová plans to look into the case, according to RTVS. 

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