Ales Bialiatski: “The fault for Raman Bandarenka’s death lies with the Interior Ministry”
Last night, November 12, a 31-year-old artist Raman Bandarenka died in a Minsk hospital after being beaten by unknown persons believed to be plain-clothed police officers. The Human Rights Center "Viasna" demands the initiation of a criminal case, investigation and punishment for those responsible for Raman's death.
“Activist Raman Bandarenka died today. He was detained outside his apartment building in Minsk by unknown people, most likely disguised policemen, who came there to remove white-red-white ribbons,” says the chairman of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" Ales Bialiatski. “The assailants mauled Raman in a minibus, as a result of which the man suffered a brain injury and was taken to the police station in critical condition, where he was denied medical assistance for another two hours.
His death came on a day when several criminal trials were taking place against protesters in Minsk, Hrodna, Homieĺ, Sluck, and Chojniki, while hundreds of our compatriots were languishing in prisons in Minsk, Žodzina and other cities. Five activists of the Belarusian Students’ Union were detained and interrogated by the KGB. Activist Mikola Dziadok was detained and beaten by sadists from GUBAZIK. He was forced to talk nonsense in a video confession. It was a hard day.
It is obvious that the responsibility for Raman Bandarenka's death lies with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and those who ordered the police to “tighten the screws”. The authorities continue to incite even greater tensions between them and the people.
We, human rights activists, demand the initiation of a criminal case, investigation and punishment for the perpetrators. Although I understand that the Investigative Committee is ready to turn a blind eye to any lawlessness and violence committed by security forces, I still believe that no crime committed against people will be forgiven. I urge people not to give up and to continue to defend their human rights. Because we are not a herd!”