Accused in "graffiti case": During the arrest we were threatened that we would never get out of jail
Maksim Piakarski, a defendant in the "case of graffiti artists" told the Human Rights Center "Viasna" how the detention was held.
"At the time of detention me, Vadzim Zharomski and a citizen of the Russian Federation were in the apartment, the windows in our room were closed. We were sitting and talking about everyday life. Suddenly I noticed that something was spilling down on the windowsill. Literally several seconds later a man in uniform on a tightrope smashed the window, took out his pistol, pointing at us and shouted: “Everyone lie down!”. After that, another one immediately flew in the window, shouting: “Don't you like the Soviet power?”. We are shocked at what is happening. Then they start cursing, beating us and use an electric shocker. One o them opened the door and some more people got in. All in all, there became about ten policemen, including investigators.
Then they started to apply psychological pressure, knock out confessions in drawing the graffiti and question us in turn right in the apartment, threatening with jail.
Then they searched the apartment, very thoroughly, looking through every sheet of paper. However, they brought the attesting witnesses only in about 20 minutes after the beginning of the search. Then they started attaching and withdraw our computers, memory cards, documents and bank cards. They spoiled some property in the apartment – for instance, smashed a glass table.
They started threatening that they would jail not only us, but also my girlfriend. She phoned me at that very time, and one of them put up the receiver and called her in for an interrogation by lies. He said that I had allegedly knocked down a child while driving a bike, and it was necessary for her to come.
I wasn't allowed to make telephone calls, my rights were grossly violated, including the right to defense.
After the search we were lead out in handcuffs, as criminals, put into a car and driven to the Investigative Committee. They continued pressurizing us, threatening and questioning until the night. They said that we had gotten to the “base” and would never go out to freedom. They also interrogated my girlfriend, intimidating and pressurizing her.
I also know that a search was held at Yaraslau Ulyanenkau's. Some property was also destroyed there, they pressurized him physically and psychologically. Moreover, his girlfriend was pregnant at the time, they also pressurized her, while she had just two weeks left before giving birth.
They also burst to Slava Kasiner and held a search, while he has a wife and one-year-old child. His wife was also subjected to psychological pressurization. We don't know when, but he was severely beaten and taken to hospital. Maybe it took place during the detention, and maybe later, because those, who saw him during the detention claimed he wasn't injured.”
Let us remind that on August 11 five guys were detained violently on suspicion in involvement in three criminal cases: making the Belarusian-language graffiti “Belarus must be Belarusian!” and “Revolution of consciousness is already in progress ...", as well as smearing with paint a social billboard with an image of police officers.
August 20, the Investigative Committee of Belarus charged Maksim Piakarski and Vadzim Zharomski under Art. 339, part 2 of the Criminal Code, “Hooligan actions, committed by a group of individuals”.
Human Rights Center “Viasna” issued a statement regarding this situation and demanded an immediate release of Viachaslau Kasinerau, Maksim Piakarski and Vadzim Zharomski.
August 31, M. Piakarski and V. Zharomski were released from the remand prison after giving written recognizances not to leave the city and not to disclose the materials of the preliminary investigation. Human rights defenders believe that forcing accused persons to sign the undertakings not to disclose the materials of the preliminary investigation violates the norms of the applicable legislation.