Paval Krasouski: I suspect it was a political experiment, testing of new interrogation and psychological pressure techniques
On October 17 Paval Krasouski gathered journalists for a press conference. The pro-democratic activist was released from Vitebsk detention center on Sunday, October 15. Paval Krasouski was detained by the Prosecutor’s General Office and kept in custody on suspicion of participation in explosions in Vitebsk on September 14 and 22, 2005 and rape and murder of under-age girls in 1999. On Sunday the term of Krasouski’s detention was over. The police failed to find any evidence of his guilt. That is why on Sunday he was released from custody. However, he signed an obligation to immediately attend all meetings with the investigator upon his request. Otherwise the activist would be detained again. Paval Krasouski still has a status of a suspect. However, his solicitor Paval Sapelka thinks such development of events means, soon the case against Krasouski would be closed.
Paval Krasouski told the journalists about the details of interrogations and conditions in the detention center. He was taken for interrogation every day at 9-10 a.m. and was brought back to the detention center at about 6 p.m. Only in the evening he had an opportunity to eat his only meal during the day. There were 3 people in a cold and damp cell. The small window was closed with a metal plate, so that the detained could not even see whether it was light or dark outside.
Paval says, there were many mice in the cell, they ran on the plank beds and did not let the people sleep. Besides that, the detained had to think of the ways to hide food from the mice – to sleep on the food parcels, hang them up, or invent some other ways to save their food from mice. Two weak light bulbs lit the cell. No ventilation, rusty water, condensate on the walls and cigarette smoke – Paval had to put up with the conditions. “We are sending you for physical suffering”, -- investigators told Krasouski. “It’s impossible to be there”, -- comments the young activist.
Paval Krasouski did not complain about the treatment he received from the administration of the detention center.
-- I guess they were afraid that I would make statements. That’s why they treated me well. At least, they didn’t force me to execute their orders.
Paval Krasouski and human rights defender Valiantsin Stefanovic agree that the case may last for quite some time, even for a year. The investigation still does not have the results of expert examinations (fingerprints, DNA blood test), expert examinations of Paval’s computer and mobile phone did not have any results. However, according to Stefanovic, if the investigation had any facts or catches which could prove their suspicion, the democratic activist would not have been released. In this case they would receive permission for keeping him in custody because he is suspected of very serious crimes. The fact that Paval was released proves that the investigation does not really suspect Paval of having committed the crimes. However, Krasouski said: “Until they find people who are really guilty of the crimes, they might invite me for interrogations”.
From the very beginning the investigator claimed that the case against Paval was not politically motivated. However, he began to make it political right away, by saying that the investigation is under strict control of the President of Belarus. During the interrogations they asked many questions about Paval’s political activities: why he headed Milinkevich’s headquarters in Zhodzina during the presidential election; why he is a member of BPF, etc. However, they didn’t mention Young Front.
Paval Krasouski says he doesn’t really understand the inner meaning of the events:
-- Why did they bring me to Vitebsk? I’ve been to Vitebsk twice and don’t even know the city well. Why did they bring me to Vitebsk, and not to Minsk, if the case is investigated by the Prosecutor’s General Office? Why did they try to accuse me of rape and murder? I suspect it was some kind of political experiment, testing a new technique of interrogation and psychological pressure. Unknown people in plain clothes attended the interrogation. The investigator regularly consulted with them. That gives me grounds to speak about interference of the special services into the case.
Zhodzina activist is not going to stop his pro-democratic activities. Like his defenders, he sounds quite optimistic:
-- Young Front helped me to become what I am today. I am obliged to Young Front to that and will fight for democracy as hard as I can.