Pavel Seviarynets: “Police brutality is commonplace in Belarus...”
The International Day Against Police Brutality is celebrated worldwide on 15 March, but not in Belarus. It is not common to speak about police brutality. According to political prisoner Pavel Seviarynets, co-chairman of the Belarusian Christian Democracy, we have it as a commonplace, rather than the exception.
“During arrests at demonstrations the police chiefs from time to time give orders to “work” harder against this or that protester, or to “take care” of this or that guy. An entire arsenal of beating is applied.
Even tougher is what’s applied to people not involved in politics. I saw and heard real torture. That is beating with blood when the cell was washed after that. As for drug addicts and those who are suspected of committing grave crimes or thefts, they deal shortly. But there are more terrible things: people leave the police station with broken arms, broken teeth and injured kidneys.”
Mrs. Halina Kavalevich, who was badly beaten by the police during the silent protest in the town of Biaroza, says that police do not protect the interests of the people, but the interests of power.
According another Biaroza resident Siarhei Alikhver, the police use harsh methods in any country. Otherwise it is impossible to deal with criminals. But in democracies it is controlled. In our country where there is no transparency and control, where there are no independent prosecutors and courts, it is difficult to find justice against police brutality.
According to these people, it is the impunity that generates police brutality. Since, only isolated cases of police brutality reach court.