Brutal Beatings at Action against Putin’s Visit to Belarus
At 6 p.m. on 12 December members of oppositional political parties, democratic leaders and youth started coming to Kastrychnitskaya Square of Minsk to protest against the visit of Vladimir Putin to Minsk. There are insistent rumors that during the visit Putin and Lukashenka will sign an act of the union state, thus incorporating Belarus into Russia. This action was dedicated to protection of the remnants of the state sovereignty of Belarus.
Before the action police cars and busses stood behind the Palace of the Republic. At the square and near it there were many riot policemen in civvies. All in all, only about a hundred people came to the action, including the members of the Belarusian People’s Front Ales Mikhalevich, Vintsuk Viachorka and Aliaksei Yanukevich. As soon as the people raised three white-red-white flags the riot police ran up to them, started tearing out the flags and beating youngsters. Then they lined up and started pushing out the people out of the square. The youth were chanting ‘Long Life Belarus!’. People did not let the police detain the youngsters, holding them. According to unconfirmed information, three persons were detained, though.
At this time the major part of the action participants came up to the Palace of Trade Unions and were ringed by the police. Those who tried to break out were knocked down and severely beaten. A leader of the Young Front was knocked down because he did not want to give away his white--red-white flag. He lost consciousness and later was taken to clinical hospital #9 in Minsk. The police violently pushed people to the circus, but the demonstrators weren’t going to disperse. Then the cars of the road police arrived to control the Nezalezhnastsi Avenue and the surroundings. The riot police followed a group of people with a white-red-white flag, beating some of them and trying to grab the flags. Another part of the action participants were cut off from the circus and turned to the river of Svislach.
The police patrols and policemen in civvies continue controlling Kastrychnitskaya Square.
The following information is based on the news of RFE/RL:
7.10 p.m. – A group of the meeting participants with Ales Mikhalevich at the head has been ringed by the police near the Belarus hotel.
7.14 – Many youth activists don’t answer their mobile phones and aren’t seen among the present people.
7.20 – About two dozens of the action participants are near the lake Kamsamolskaye. A police car stands near them, neither of the sides takes any actions. The beaten activist Khvedaruk was taken to hospital. A brain concussion has been already diagnosed, he can have more injures. Khvedaruk already regained consciousness, but cannot speak because of pain shock.
7.27 – Those who were pushed out to Lake Kamsamolskaye (more than 25 persons) were put on a tram in direction of Arlouskaya Street. Then the police drove away as well.