Mahilioŭ: Investigation Committee found no confirmation of police abuse
Investigation Committee found no corpus delicti in the actions of the riot police in Mahilioŭ, who were accused of threats and humiliation of human dignity.
Aliaksandr Shautsou and Valiantsina Shchetnikava demanded to instigate a criminal case under Article 424 of the Criminal Code ("abuse of power or official authority") after the police had taken away a white-red-white flag from Mr. Shautsou and detained him at the Vilenski market in Mahilioŭ during a rally in support of the presidential candidate Tatsiana Karatkevich.
In his complaint Aliaksandr Shevtsov reports that the police officers took him to the police station
because he didn't have any documents proving his identity. They also confiscated a white-red-white flag, calling it “a prohibited symbol”.
According to Mr. Shautsou, they started insulting him in the police car and threatening with physical violence for his membership in the Belarusian Popular Front. They also took away his cell phone. At the polling station the police undressed him, wrapped in the white-red-white flag and took some photos, then forced him to do push-ups. As they didn't manage to unblock his phone, they took out the SD card and found at it caricatures of the president of the Russian Federation, after which they said that he had gotten into trouble and would get hit for Putin.
All this ended after journalists and the presidential candidate Tatsiana Karatkevich arrived at the police station. Aliaksandr Shautsou was let go and wrote a complaint against the police officers.
In his response dated October 5, a senior investigator of the inter-district department of the Investigative Committee, Major of Justice V. Rubanau reported that an inspection had been conducted on the facts described in the complaint. As a result, it was found that on August 16 the riot policemen of the Main Police Department of the Mahilioŭ Regional Executive Committee Haravy, Zakharanka and Siatkin had detained Shautsou during the electoral picket in support of Tatsiana Karatkevich as he had no documents confirming his identity and membership in the eletoral team of the candidate. He was released from the police department after his identity was established. Thus, the Investigative Committee didn't find any evidence of wrongdoing by employees of the Interior Ministry and therefore refused to bring criminal proceedings against them.