Belarusian human rights organizations urge Interior Minister to stop torture and police abuse
On August 12, we learned from numerous people released from the Center for Confinement of Offenders of the Main Directorate of Internal Affairs of the Minsk City Executive Committee, (hereinafter - CCO) that multiple protesters detained for participating in peaceful protests on August 9, 10 and 11, were held in inhumane conditions, with many subjected to torture. People are beaten, held in overcrowded cells: up to 50 people in a cell designed for only 4-6 people, making it impossible to sleep at night, people lack air and room. It is also reported that people are deprived of food, and are regularly beaten when trying to sit down during the day. Numerous prisoners were taken away in ambulances. A young man died in during detention in Homieĺ.
There is ample evidence of cruelty, violence and unjustified use of physical force and police gear against people detained at district police departments pending the execution of the necessary procedures.
We note that these actions are ill-treatment and torture, which are unacceptable and must be stopped.
In accordance with the Part 3 of Article 25 of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, no one shall be subjected to torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Under article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
We would like to remind you that the right to freedom from torture and ill-treatment in accordance with the Constitution and international obligations of the Republic of Belarus is universal, and unlike other human rights, is not subject to any restrictions, even in wartime.
We, representatives of Belarusian human rights organizations, declare that torture and ill-treatment are unacceptable, and therefore demand to:
- immediately stop any acts of torture and ill-treatment against people detained in police departments, detention centers, CCO, as well as when transporting them to places of detention;
- release all detainees due to the inability to provide them with humane conditions of detention in accordance with international treaties and the legislation of the Republic of Belarus;
- investigate all cases of ill-treatment and torture in police departments, detention centers, CCO and during the transportation of detainees to places of detention.
Non-Governmental Organization “Zviano”
Expert and Legal Society “Initiative FORB”
Initiative Group “Identity and Law”
Belarusian Helsinki Committee
Belarusian Documentation Center
Center for Legal Transformation “Lawtrend”
Belarusian Association of Journalists
Barys Zvozskau Belarusian Human Rights House
Civil initiative “For a Fair Trial in Belarus”
Human Rights Center "Viasna"
Office for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The original text of the statement is available at the website legin.by