POLICE BEAT WOMEN WHEN ARRESTING MARKET VENDORS LEADER
The police detained Anatol Shumchanka, head of market vendors association, near the building of Minsk Economic Court. The violent detention took place on October 1. Women, members of the association, tried to defend its leader. The police started a real fight, severely beating some of the women. On October 2 the women filed an appeal to Leninski borough prosecutor’s office, complaining about the actions of policemen in civil clothes.
Alena Zhykharava, one of the police victims, wrote in her complaint: “On October 1, 2003, about 10 a.m., near the building of Minsk city economic court, I was attacked by 2 strangers in civil clothes. These people were trying to detain my colleague Shumchanka. The people had no signs, which would identify them as policemen. I asked them to identify themselves and explain why they had attacked Shumchanka and were trying to detain him. When they heard my questions, one of them hit me at the back and twisted my right arm. He gripped onto my jacket and threw on the asphalt. I fell down receiving numerous injuries and had my leg put out of joint. I tried to get up, but the people who attacked me, twisted my arm again and threw me back on the asphalt. There were unfenced construction works in this part of the road, with trenches and pieces of broken asphalt all around. When falling down I received numerous traumas on my back again. The same people beat other women standing nearby. The attackers made physical and moral harm to me. They also damaged my personal belongings. I have a video-tape with the attack recorded”. Alena Zhykharava and other beaten women ask the prosecutor to initiate a criminal case against the policemen in civil clothes.