BCD activist faces obstacles in proving torture report
As previously reported, on 21 April 2012 Slonim police detained local activist of the Belarusian Christian Democracy Party Volha Pansevich. During arrest, she was badly beaten and then forced into a car and taken to the police station, where she was charged with two administrative violations – disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. The activist was held in the detention center for three days, where police officers reportedly tortured her, beating the woman and using the so-called “lastochka” (“swallow”), the Human rights activists against torture campaign reports.
The case of Mrs. Volha Pansevich is a good example of both torture being a commonplace in our country and the impossibility to prove allegations by victims. It has been over six months since the woman started trying to prove the use of torture against her, but all in vain. While she was tortured by policemen at the detention center, her minor child was waiting for his mother at home.
The torture report was investigated by Slonim district department of the Investigative Committee, who predictably ruled not to institute criminal proceedings. The investigator in the case did not even bother to summon the witnesses, and limited only to the testimony of the police officers.
Currently, Volha, not believing in prosecution or in the Investigative Committee, appealed for help in establishing justice to the court of Slonim district.
Her complaint not only indicates the numerous flaws of the investigation conducted by the Investigative Committee, but also some inconsistencies in the testimony of the same police officers:
“Thus, the explanation of the Senior Officer on duty of Slonim district police department Botsik suggests that I was taken to the police station at around 8 p.m. At the same time, policemen Zinevich and Bytsko say they saw me in Khliupin Street at about 8 p.m. It is unclear how I could be in different places at one and the same time. This fact is confirms that the investigation into my statement was negligent and careless, and the conclusions made to deny criminal proceedings are not objective.”
In conclusion, Volha asks the court to:
“Cancel the decision of 2 August, 2012 not to institute criminal proceedings issued by senior investigator of Slonim district department of the Investigative Committee Valadashchyk and oblige to eliminate the violations.”
In his actions the single mother, with the assistance from the initiative “Human Rights Defenders Against Torture” is ready to reach the UN Human Rights Committee and to prove the use of torture against her at the international level.