Order No. 020, 14 January 1972 (33.3)

<< No 33 : 10 December 1974 >>

This Order, dated 14 January 1972, combines a number of earlier directives.

The Chronicle does not have at its disposal the precise text of the Order, but its main provisions are well known:

1. Prisoners are allowed to move about their camp-zone only in columns;

2.Visits to barracks other than their own are forbidden;

3. Prisoners must have, sewn onto their clothing, patches giving their surname and the number of their unit;

4. Prisoners are forbidden to wear beards;

5. During the warm months of the year, prisoners must remove their headgear in the presence of administration personnel;

6. The duties of an orderly include the reporting of any infringement of the regulations to the head of the unit;

7. Tobacco is looked upon as equivalent to food products (so that when a prisoner is deprived of access to the prison shop, he is also deprived of tobacco);

8. This is the list of personal effects which a prisoner is permitted to keep with him:

(a)       Not more than five books;

(b)       Two changes of underwear;

(c)       Toilet articles;

(d)       Clothing and footwear of the approved pattern ‘according to the prescribed norms’.

Other effects must be kept in the camp storage room;

9. This is the list of food products allowed to be sent in packages and parcels:

In small packages – dry confectionery, apart from chocolate and any products containing it. (This, in practice, was the same before the Order was promulgated.)

In parcels – bread and buns of various kinds; salted herring; tinned food — meat with vegetables, lard, pulses, fish, vegetables; onions and garlic; cheese, lard, butter and margarine. (Previously, tea, coffee and pure meat products were also allowed.)

10. Letters may be confiscated on the following grounds:

(a)       Obscene expressions;

(b)       Libellous statements about the administration or conditions in the camps;

(c)       Distortion of the USSR’s foreign or internal policies;

(d)       Suspicion of “phrases in prearranged code”;

(e)       Illicit enclosures;

(f)        Divulging of information which may not be made public.

11. Confiscated letters and statements are to be destroyed. (Previously, confiscated letters were kept with the prisoner’s personal records.)

12. Only statements addressed to the Procurator’s Office are exempt from camp censorship. (Previously statements addressed to the Central Committee of the Communist Party and to the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet were also exempt.)

13. As before, a prisoner can be kept in a camp punishment prison for up to 15 days. But now the administration has the right to extend this punishment for an unlimited period, through a series of successive rulings (also for up to 15 days each, but not including any compulsion on the prisoner to work). The total length of time a prisoner may be kept in a prison is limited only by the state of his health.

It is also known that paint and paintbrushes are categorically forbidden. Order No 020 was brought into operation by stages. Thus in the Perm camps it was first put into practice in 1973. It was then, for example, that the identification patches sewn onto clothing were introduced.