Authorities Refuse to Investigate Cases of Beating and Tortures of Protestors
On 2 November 2005 by its verdict Minsk Maskouski District Court informed Mikita Sasim, coordinator of Zubr movement, about the refusal to bring a civil case.
We should remind that Mikita Sasim complained to the court concerning the actions of the riot police of the Main Board of Internal Affairs of Minsk City Executive Committee connected to the dispersal of the protest action of 16 September, dedicated to the anniversary of the disappearance of the vice-speaker Viktar Hanchar and the businessman Anatol Krasouski. During the forced dispersal of the action M. Sasim was beaten by the riot police. As a result of the beating he had to apply for medical treatment to the hospital where cranial trauma and brain concussion were diagnosed.
In his complaint M. Sasim asked to consider the police actions lawless and violating his rights. According to Judge T. Vnukievich the refusal to bring the case was that M. Sasim didn’t abide by the order of complaining against such actions.
Valiantsin Stefanovich, lawyer of HRC Viasna, thusly commented on this situation:
-- We consider the court ruling illegal because the present legislation, Article #6 of the law of the Republic of Belarus “On police” guarantees the right of citizens to complain to the supreme official and to the court against the actions of the police that he/she considers lawless. That’s why Mikita Sasim had the right to apply to the court directly, without the obligatory pre-court complaining. This ruling has been just appealed to the College Board on civil cases of Minsk City Court. We ask to set the ruling aside and direct the case to the court of the first instance. In general, these actions witness the reluctance of the authorities to investigate such cases, cases of tortures. It has already become a trend here. Minsk Tsentralny Borough Board of Internal Affairs also refused to bring a criminal case on the fact of the beating of Sviatlana Zavadskaia, wife of the missing cameraman of ORT Dzmigtry Zavadski, by the riot police. The criminal case on the beating of the chair of United Civil Party Anatol Liabiedzka wasn’t brought either. Actually, all complaints to procurator’s office concerning such cases end with refusals to bring criminal cases on the cases of tortures. The procurator’s office either doesn’t find any evidence or answers the police acted strictly within the limits of their official powers.