Valery Shchukin: police torturers on the dock

2008 2008-06-03T18:06:16+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The first summer month of 2008 in Vitsebsk was marked by an unheard trial (at least for the author of this article). It was the first time for the twelve years of acquaintance with the court instances when I was at a trial which was lead by the head of the court and the state accusation was represented by prosecutor in person.

2 June Kastrychnitski district court of Vitsebsk started trying the criminal case against two policemen who had beaten a surgeon of an ambulance hospital. These policemen belong to the same regiment, the members of which assaulted the journalist Valery Shchukin from an ambush.

A minute was enough for Navumau’s officers to be over with the pensioner. Soon I was lying down on the asphalt with a hypertension crisis. They even did not need to beat me, and they would not risk to do it – to assault an army veteran in broad daylight, in the eyes of many people. 

But the surgeon Andrei Drobysh was beaten on 22 December 2006. They beat him long. Kicked with feet. Beat him lying face down, with his hand handcuffed behind the back. They beat him without witnesses in police station #6 in Frunze Street. Specialist with a higher education, who saved people’s lives, was beaten by ignoramuses who have just finished schools. City dweller, father of three children, was tortured by peasants by birth. A soldier of the Soviet army was beaten by an ensign and a sergeant of the Belarusian police. Well-fed mugs beat a thin doctor, ten years older than them. Police officers in uniform humiliated a sober citizen who did not resist. The degree of sobriety of the subordinates of colonel Kalesnik (commandant of the regiment) is not known.

They beat professionally: the victim struggled for breath and could not cry. They kicked him in the genitals with well-made police shoes. Being asked by the surprised chairman of the court Lamaka, how they could kick him in the perineum when he had been lying with face down the mutilated surgeon answered that one of them moved his legs apart with his shoes, while the second one was kicking in the perineum. The state accuser qualified the inflicted trauma as second-degree.

The feelings of the medic to the ‘brave’ Belarusian police are clear from his answer to the question of the prosecutor of Chyhunachny district, senior justice advisor Kaminski, who asked whether the victim could recognize his torturers: ‘It is unpleasant for me to look at them’.

It is really unpleasant and disgusting. The police easily push to pre-trial prisons those who violate the Criminal Code. At the trial the accused are kept in cages and are not allowed to utter a word to their friends and relatives, whereas Makhankou and Shushko, who are accused of excess of powers (part 3 of Article 426 of the Criminal Code) sit in the court hall, surrounded with their comrades-in-arms, hiding their grins. 

Before trial the police keep behind the barbed wire even those who are maximally punished with 15 days of jail, but those who can be sentenced to up to eight years of jail are allowed to walk free.

The police tortures still work and get state wages…

Valery SHCHUKIN, 3 June 2008