Viasna's human rights activist spoke about beatings during detention
Human rights defender and member of the Board of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" Zmitser Salaujou is preparing a petition against the officers of the Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption (GUBOP) to append to the criminal case brought in a European Union country within the mechanism of universal jurisdiction over the beatings and torture of Belarusian citizens in 2020-2021. The human rights defender is a suspect in the criminal case against Viasna under Art. 342 part 2 of the Criminal Code.
Detained twice. Persecution of the human rights activist
During the mass attack on human rights defenders and journalists on February 16, riot policemen and GUBOP raided the house of Zmitser Salaujou in the suburbs of Minsk and searched it, seizing equipment. The search took place under a criminal case under Article 342 of the Criminal Code. After the search, the human rights defender was detained. On 18 February, Salaujou was sentenced to 12 days of arrest for an "unauthorized mass event". A concrete bas-relief with "Pahonia" emblem was placed on his house which was considered as picketing. On 28 February he was released from the temporary detention facility.
On 1 March Zmitser was detained again in Minsk airport. Four unidentified persons in uniform took him off the plane. The human rights defender was taken to the Investigative Committee, where he was informed that he was a suspect under part 2 of article 342 of the Criminal Code. Zmitser Salaujou and the Human Rights Centre "Viasna" consider his prosecution politically motivated for helping repressed participants of peaceful assemblies.
"Blows to the head, kicks to the legs". The story of beatings on 16 February
The human rights activist describes his detention in detail and recalls the circumstances of that day:
"On 16 February 2021 at about 7 a.m., GUBOP officers and some back up (riot police) - about 10 people together, broke into all the doors of my house. During the search, the GUBOP officer who conducted the raid started beating me (blows to the stomach and head), then other masked individuals joined in the beating - blows to the head and kicks to the legs. In response to my request for a copy of the search authorization, a masked person made a foot sweep, and I hit the back of my head on the floor)."
According to Zmitser, after the search he was transported in a blue minibus, where he was also beaten:
"During the transportation, an unidentified masked person hit me from behind with his fist to the back of the head - as a result, I showed some symptoms of a head injury and damage to the cervical spine. In the Minsk District police department, it turned out that Lieutenant Colonel V.M. Valadzko and Lieutenant Colonel V.V. Rudenka, senior criminal intelligence detectives, had drawn up a report about me picketing with the help of the bas-relief".
Now Zmitser is looking for other victims of Valadzko and Rudenka.