BATE fan: “At the police station I was shown a photo and told that I was in it”
One of the fans BATE anonymously told Radio “Liberty” how the police were persecuting Barysau fans of the football club BATE for holding an action of solidarity with the Ukrainian protesters.
“Last weekened volleyball BATE played in two games indoors. There are surveillance cameras, on which one could see a group of people coming out after the end of the match and walking down the stairs at the entrance.
Two of the people who were recognized were invited for a talk and shown the video recording. They recognized: " Yes, it's me going out to the street and going home."
However, they didn't admit their presence in the photos with the posters in support of the Ukraine. Nevertheless, the court has confessions from the both of them. I think they were just put before a choice: they could either plead guilty and get 5 days of arrest, or plead innocent and get 15 days.
The first guy must have really given a confession. What concerns the other guy, he was called in the morning and invited for a talk. He said he would not come anywhere without a subpoena. Then they came to his home. After three-hour detention at the police department, his father came there with a lawyer. He also phoned his girlfriend, who watched the valleyball match together with him. She also recognized him in the video, where they went out and then went home. However, she did not recognize him in the photos. She signed her testimony and was let go. The guy was sentenced to arrest the same day.
His father and the lawyer were told that the guards had taken his case to court. They didn't know his whereabouts for about two hours, as the court kept saying the guy hadn't been taken there, whereas the police said he was at court. In fact, the guy was secretly led in through a backdoor and the verdict was quickly announced to him. They learned about it only afterwards.
Do you remember the girl? In the report it is written that she had recognized him, but her signature is absent.
We do not know how many people have not been recognized yet. One or two have got calls from the police, but they said they would not go anywhere without a subpoena. They came to their homes, but one guy was not home at the time. By the way, he cannot be on the video, as he didn't attend the valleyball match that day.”
Let us remind that on January 27 a photo of a group of fans of the Belarusian football club BATE (tenfold national champion), holding a white-red- white flag and posters: "Hold on, Ukraine, we are with you!" and "Glory to Heroes!". The faces of the fans were painted over so that no one could be recognized.
Later civil society activist Siarhei Salash stated that verdicts for administrative arrest had been prepared for all 23 Barysau participants of the solidarity action with the Ukrainian protesters.
The press service of the Police Bureau of the Minsk Regional Executive Committee confirmed to RFE/RL that two BATE fans had been punished with arrest for the action of solidarity with the Ukrainian people, and the rest were wanted.