Details of Beatings after Entrepreneurs’ Actions

2008 2008-01-14T20:20:38+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

All arrested participants of the protest rally against the economic policy of the government towards small business in Belarus held on January 10 in Minsk have been taken to Akrestsin Street prison.

The prison guards agreed to take from relatives to pass to imprisoned warm cloths and sanitary articles only. Food wasn’t allowed to be brought to them, RFE/RL informs.

23 participants of the rally have been sentenced to arrest. 5 persons who have been put to prison were injured. Among them there is Mikhas Kryvau. He told to RFE/RL that they were beaten up in paddy wagons.

‘I was detained in Independence Avenue, taken to a paddy-wagon and thrown down on the floor. Riot policemen hit me on the back of the head by truncheons. All who were in the paddy wagon were beaten. Girls were beaten up and insulted with dirty words.’

A student of the University of Culture Tatsiana Tsishkevich was beaten up by riot policemen in a paddy wagon. In the court she demonstrated her blood-stained coat. Despite of the fact that policemen didn’t allow anybody approach the detained, Tastiana managed to say a few words when she left the court room.’

‘They were shouting at me using, swearing, beating me… They used all kinds of foul words’.

Tatsiana is the only person arrested for 20 days. Unlike guys, females have to serve the sentence in harsher conditions. Most often they are kept in the same ward with women addicted to alcohol, who were arrested after their relatives called in police as they were violent. Quite often there are cases when policemen call in a team of psychiatrists after heavy drinkers develop an alcoholic mania, and are really dangerous for their fellow inmates.

After the new Code of penal procedure came into force, workers of the special detention facility do not take food parcels for the arrested. Friends and relatives managed to pass only water to the detainees. Parents of Arsen Pakhomau, who is serving 15 days of arrest now, asked doctors of the emergency aid to influence the situation and pass food to the detainees, but in vain.

‘He is sick now. He has flu, and besides, he has a sick throat, running nose and problems with his stomach. I asked to pass to him drops and pills. I am so anxious. I do not know whether he is has food, what is his condition now. But they agreed to take a warm sweater for him.’

Second Secretary of the US Embassy Steven Gillen told RFE/RL that to keep people without food and water for several hours is a violation of elementary human rights.

‘We hope that the regime would treat these young people better in the future’.

People who are serving their sentences after imposing new rules note that food has become much worse in prisons. Now a glass of tea and a slice of bread a given for a breakfast. Dinner is combined with supper. It consists of soup, porridge and a cup of tea.

It is cold in prison wards. There is not enough fresh air. Nobody is taken for a walk. Besides, the so-called ‘political prisoners’ are not allowed to participate in ‘community works’. They are allowed to take a shower once a week.