Workers of Shklovalakno Plant Taken Hostages by Masked Men
On 4 April special services occupied the main entrance-gate office of the joint stock company Polatsk-Shklovalakno (Polatsk Fiberglass). For about an hour everybody who entered the office were taken a hostage, www.bulletinonline.org informs. People were ordered to stand their faces to the wall, threatened and punched by truncheons. Workers and visitors who understood nothing were made to stand spread-eagled.
Among hostages appeared a worker of a passport office who had recently undergone an operation, a client from Russia and a pregnant worker who had come to the office to be granted a maternity leave. Everybody was rudely told: ‘Keep silent, stand faces to the wall. Otherwise we’ll use special agents!’
A guard on duty of the enterprise tried to object, but after he was hit by the face against the wall, he stopped talking.
- Are you going to shoot me? one of the men ventured upon a remark.
- Yes, if we would be ordered, a masked man answered.
Here are some comments of the victims:
Vasiliy N. had arrived from the Russian city of Vladimir to receive goods: ‘When I return home, I am going to tell the press and TV about real situation in Belarus. It’s total lawlessness. I have arrived to buy fiberglass fabric, and I was hit by truncheons and menaced me with a machine-gun. Such things are possible only in Chechnya in our country. I am simply shocked!’
Aliaksandr V., a worker of Shklovalakno:
‘We were treated like criminals. I pay taxes, and they are financed by that. If nobody would be punished for this lawlessness, I will not trust the state any more.’
‘I was to fire according to my instructions’, told the guard of the enterprise. ‘But I was stopped by the fact that they had machine guns, and I had a handgun’.
People were released only after some documents were seized in the Belarusian-Italian joint venture situated next to Shklovalakno. After that the director of the joint venture and his assistant were placed to a jeep and taken to Minsk. The assistant returned on the next day, 5 April. As said by him, the director was to return in the evening.
Right after the release almost all victims of these actions filed complaints to all bodies: to the CEO, to the prosecutor general and to the presidential administration.