Police side with attacker in Homel incident

2014 2014-08-21T11:47:19+0300 2014-08-21T11:47:19+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/ukraine.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The Tsentralny district police department of Homel issued another refusal to initiate a criminal investigation into the attack on the house of local opposition activist Kanstantsin Zhukouski. On May 2, his private house was attacked by unknown persons, who were apparently outraged by a Ukrainian flag hoisted on the roof as a sign of solidarity with the neighboring country. One of the attackers swore and insulted the activist, threatened him with violence, and called the Ukrainian flag a “rag”. “He shouted about Bandera’s Nazis, insulting the Ukrainian and Belarusian authorities and threatened to kill me. Then he broke the lock to the gate and tried to break into my yard to “take care” of me,” says Kanstantsin Zhukouski. He called the police. Even after the police arrived, the drunken assaulters continued to talk nonsense with dirty insults about “fascists” and Bandera. “The police did not respond, despite my requests to take action against the violators of the order, to detain them and to start investigations. Then the police told me that we would go together to the department, at my request to lift boot prints from the gate, to document the clothing and footwear of the offenders to make it easier to prove their guilt the policeman said to me, “Go, home and do not provoke us,” added the activist.

On May 3, he filed an application to the Tsentralny district police department asking to bring the perpetrators to justice. On May 8, the police department issued a decision not to institute criminal proceedings. Kanstantsin Zhukouski filed a complaint with the Prosecutor’s Office of Homel. The Prosecutor’s Office on June 16 canceled the decision of the police department and ordered to resume the probe, challenging the police department on a number of questions. However, the activist again received a response from the Tsentralny district police department, who said that the actions of the attacker on his house did not constitute an administrative offense. Such conclusions were made by the police after they questioned the assaulter. In particular, the citizen argued that he politely knocked at the gate and asked Kanstantsin Zhukouski why he had hoisted the flag. He also said that he did not swear, did not offend the owner of the house, did not break the gate but only said that he was “proud to be living in Belarus”.

Kanstantsin Zhukouski intends to appeal to the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in order to ask for help in bringing to justice the criminals who mocked Ukrainian national symbols and call people Nazis for their support of the Ukrainian people. “My case, and other similar cases in Belarus indicate that the words of support for Ukraine voiced by Belarusian officials run counter to their actions,” sums up the activist.