Action of solidarity dispersed brutally
The picket of solidarity in Minsk has been dispersed unprecedentedly brutally. 30 oppositionists were beaten up and arrested. Journalists were beaten as well, militia didn’t let them film this brutality.
More than a hundred of riot militiamen were thrown against the people, who came to October square in Minsk on Solidarity Day on October 16. No sooner had the protesters unfurled portrait of the political prisoners, they were beaten. A part of demonstrators sat on the ground in protest, they were beaten at first, and then forced into buses with the rest. It took only some minutes to arrest the demonstrators.
Among the arrested are activists of the civil campaign “European Belarus” Zmitser Barodka, Paval Yukhnevich, Aleh Ladutska, Alyaksei Syanchyla, Palina Dzyakava, Maksim Serhiets, leader of the United Civil Party Anatol Lyabedzka, chairman of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Narodnaya Hramada) Mikalai Statkevich, leader of “BPF Youth” Andrei Krachko, UCP activist Mikhail Pashkevich, “Young Front” activists Anastasia Palazhanka and Mikola Dzemidzenka, and others.
Many people were beaten until they were bleeding. As Anatol Lyabedzka told www.charter97.org on phone, he was beaten in a bus on the way to the Tsentralny district militia department. “I was beaten up on the square and then in the bus. A riot militiaman grabbed from behind around my neck, another one was holding my arms, and the third was beating at my face. I was bleeding,” the politician had said before he was cut off.
Opposition activists were also beaten in the Tsentralny district militia department, said a witness, who was in the militia department at that time by chance. According to him, he heard shouts of people, who were being beating in the department. He also saw how a beaten oppositionist was dragged through the corridor.
Human rights defenders and opposition activists came to the Tsentralny district militia department to support the detained, but they are not allowed in. Their phones are unavailable.
Journalists, photo correspondents and camera operators were not allowed to film the dispersal again. If on rallies on September 9 and 16 two or three men hindered every journalist, this time each correspondent was followed by five riot militiamen, who snatches lenses and damaged cameras.
Three riot militiamen attacked Natallya Radzina, a journalist of www.charter97.org, and knocked her down to the ground. Our photo correspondent was caught by five men who hold his arms all the time the peaceful rally was being dispersed.
If we managed to make some photos and video footage of the outrage during dispersals on September 9 and 16, this time journalists were almost unable to film anything!
Moreover, riot militiamen didn’t allow the press to come to the place where demonstrators were beaten. In actual fact, it was prohibition to practice. The authorities try to hide from the world community the riot militia atrocities.