Interior Ministry pledges to release remaining protesters today. Dozens detainees still missing

2020 2020-08-17T15:42:37+0300 2020-08-17T15:42:56+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/cip_okrestina_tut.byjpg.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
An ambulance leaving the Center for Confinement of Offenders in Minsk, as families of detainees are waiting outside. Some arrested protesters are still missing. Photo: tut.by

An ambulance leaving the Center for Confinement of Offenders in Minsk, as families of detainees are waiting outside. Some arrested protesters are still missing. Photo: tut.by

The remaining 122 protesters have been released from the detention centers of Belarus, the bulk of them in Žodzina and Brest, the Interior Ministry’s spokesperson said. The list has been published by the Prosecutor General’s Office. Six persons are still being held as part of “ongoing investigations.”

However, human rights activists and reporters say that the whereabouts of at least 80 detainees are still unknown, as their families have not heard of them since their arrest on August 9-12.

The Investigative Committee said it received over 600 statements from protesters who were detained and subjected to ill-treatment. A hundred more complained about beatings in detention facilities.

The reports will receive a “proper legal assessment”, the Investigative Committee said.

Human rights defenders continue to document evidence of torture and other acts of abuse committed by law enforcement officers. Some 300 victims have already been interviewed.

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Arrested protester beaten by riot police while in detention

One of the detainees, Uladzislau Sakalouski, one of the two DJs arrested for playing a protest song at an official event, said that he was beaten by deputy Interior Minister Aliaksandr Barsukou. Although he was forced to stand facing the wall, Sakalouski says he recognized the official’s voice.

On the night of August 14, Barsukou came to the detention center in Akrescin Street in Minsk and said to hundreds of people that no one was being tortured or beaten in the cells.

Uladzislau Sakalouski and Kiryl Halanau after their release on August 16. Photo: svaboda.org
Uladzislau Sakalouski and Kiryl Halanau after their release on August 16. Photo: svaboda.org

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