Why doesnt Belarusian Embassy protect its citizens?

2006 2006-07-21T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The young activists of Belarus, victims of the police despotism during the G8 group summit, pose the following question in the letter to head of the St.Petersburg department of the Belarusian Embassy Zmitser Sivitski: Why doesnt the Belarusian Embassy protect the rights of its citizens? The full text of the letter is available below. The Belarusian activists informed a correspondent of PRIMA-News about their intention to apply to the Russian Embassy to Belarus on the occasion of the police despotism.

Head of the St.Petersburg department of the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus Zmitser Sivitski

Leaving the cafй near the hotel Pribaltiyskaya where the journalists accredited for the summit reside, six citizens of the Republic of Belarus were attacked by people of muftis about 11.30 on July 16. The Belarusians were knocked down, kicked, handcuffed. The people, who were illegally arresting the peaceful citizens, didnt even think of introducing themselves. Officers of the Russian Home Ministry armed with machine guns arrived in several minutes. The Belarusians were pushed coarsely into the car; one of them had got a head trauma. The detained were taken to the 37th police department. All day long several Russian citizens and advocates called to the police department trying to get in touch with the detained people, but the police officers denied there were Belarusians in the 37th department, and ascertained they had no information on the detained citizens of Belarus. Officials of other police departments of St.Petersburg, of the Belarusian consulate and of the local Federal Security Service (FSS) office that the advocates talked to refused to give information and assured they were unaware of the detentions of the Belarusian citizens in St.Petersburg. Nothing had been known about the Belarusians until they were exonerated late at night on July 16, no protocols filed. The Belarusians had simply disappeared. Anything could have happened to them.

The policemen of the 37th police department demanded explanatory notes, performed photo- and video shooting, took fingerprints. The Belarusian were kept for the whole day, from 12.00 till late evening, in a small room together with Uzbeks detained for dwelling with no registration. There were hardly 3 sitting places for more than 20 people, so the detained spent the day standing close to each other. The officers of the criminal investigation department and FSS held interrogations with beating, psychological pressure, abuse language, threats. The bodies of the Belarusians are covered with bruises, abrasions and handcuffs marks. A FSS officer knocked one of the girls down on the table and said he would rape her. Another girl was threaten in a different way - she was told one telephone call to Belarusians colleagues from KGB would be enough for her son to have troubles. The questions posed concerned mainly the situation in Belarus. The FSS officers confiscated two note pads; all the numbers from telephone books were copied.

According to one of the officers of the 37th police department, a representative of the Belarusian Embassy came to the department, made pictures and noted down the personal information of the Belarusians. Unknown people in muftis who came along with him talked to the young Belarusians - as a Russian policeman said, those were yours, from the committee (KGB), strange that you dont recognize fellow countrymen. At the same time, the Belarusian Embassy didnt assist exoneration and rendered no aid for the detained Belarusians; moreover, an official of the Embassy remarked cynically on the phone that they hadnt heard anything about the detention of the Belarusians.

Dear Mr.Sivitski, we, citizens of the Republic of Belarus, address you asking to explain why the officials of the Embassy have not made any attempts to exonerate the citizens of our country on the territory of the Russian Federation.

Why didnt the representative of the Embassy introduce himself and in fact acted on the side of the terrorists who treated our compatriots in such an atrocious way?

Why doesnt the Belarusian Embassy in Russia protect its citizens?

Why do you divide people into the first and second sort?

We urge you to clarify the situation and to edit your reply in the press.
Source: www.charter97.org