Answer to appeal of Baranavičy human rights activist: riot police beat football fans, but acted lawfully
Human rights activist Siarhei Housha received a reply from the Police Department of Brest Regional Executive Committee, signed by its deputy head V. Maksimiuk. There it is reported that an inspection was held on the appeal of the activist, as a result of which it was found that the riot police had really used physical force towards football fans at the stadium "Locomotive" in Baranavičy on May 3, but act in accordance with Art. 26 of the Republic of Belarus from July 17, 2007 № 263-Z "On the Internal Affairs Bodies of Belarus".
The police official stated that as it was found during the inspection, before the football match many fans had tried to get to the territory of the stadium without personal examination. Therefore, in order to prevent possible offenses which, according to the police, could develop into a group violation of public order, riot policemen detained 26 supporters of FC "Baranavičy" and 15 fans of FC "Dniepr". According to the response, all detainees were guarded to Baranavičy City Police Department, weren't placed in temporary detention cells and were detained for no more than 3 hours which doesn't violate the requirements of the Process Executive Code of Administrative Violations.
“The response of the police officer says nothing of the brutal beating of the fans who were lying on the ground and did not resist the police (it is just mentioned that physical force was used towards them). The fact that among the detainees there were minors isn't mentioned at all. The police officer also omitted the fact that the detainees were forced to sign the statements that they had no pretensions to the police,” stated the human rights activist.
Siarhei Housha is sure that the inspection into the beating of the football fans was conducted unfairly and intends to apply to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus.