Unknown Persons Beat 18-year-old Son of Vitsebsk Oppositionist Yan Dziarzhautsau
A member of the Conservative Christian Party Belarusian People’s Front Yan Dziarzhautsau thinks that the assault on his son could be conducted by the persons, who on 15 August sent to him a letter on behalf of Vitsebsk branch of Vitbsebsk branch of the Russian Nazi organization Russian National Unity (RNE).
‘In the letter, which came to my home address and for unknown reason started with the word ‘Miron’, there were the following words: ‘If you hang your white-red-white cloth in our city once again, we will punish you’. And my son was beaten 1,5 hours after a white-red-white flag was hanged in Vitsebsk, late in the evening of 29 October. Those, who beat my son attacked from the back, threw him down on the ground, beat and said before running away: ‘Finally we caught you!’ said Yan Dziarzhautsau.
Mr. Dziarzhautsau cannot explain why the authors of the letter addressed him as the legendary Miron – the person who has been hanging out white-red-white flags over Vitsebsk, leaving notes with his signature. By the way, similar threat letters from RNE were received by three more Vitsebsk activists – the distributor of independent press Barys Khamaida, Siarhei Kavalenka and the chair of Vitsebsk regional office of CCP BPF Yan Taupyha. Mr. Dziarzhautsau was the only one who complained about this incident to the prosecutor’s office. He demanded to bring a criminal case against those who distributed letters on behalf of the unregistered NGO.
The prosecutor’s office passed his complaint to Chyhunachny district police department of Vitsebsk. The police department refused to bring a criminal case. Yan Dziarzhautsau received an answer that ‘RNE acts without an official registration, that’s why it is impossible to prove the membership in it. Besides, the threats are addressed to some ‘Miron’, that’s why Yan Dziarzhautsau has no reasons for concern.’
The oppositionist was not convinced by these arguments and applied to the regional prosecutor’s office. He still hasn’t received an answer from it. Now he prepares a new complaint and intends to attach the results of the forensic expertise registering his sons beating.
The legal aid in relations with the police and the prosecutor’s office was proposed to Dziarzhautsau by a human rights activist Leanid Svetsik. It is not the first case, when people applied to the prosecutor’s office after receiving letters from RNE. 1,5 years ago such letters were received by the chair of Vitsebsk office of the United Civil Party Alena Zaleskaya, the editor of the non-state newspaper Vitebskiy Kuryer Uladzimir Bazan and the chair of the literary department of the Lialka theater Viktoryia Dashkevich.
‘No matter to which bodies we complained, not a single criminal case has been brought’, says Leanid Svetsik. ‘In all cases they answered that it was impossible to find the authors of the letter. Now an 18-year-old guy has been beaten. We cannot say for sure that it was done by RNE, but it might not have happened if the police treated the threats on its behalf more responsibly.’