21 November 2019, Thursday, 7:26
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Tortures in Zhodzina detention facility

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Tortures in Zhodzina detention facility

Syarhei Kraido, Syarhei Kalasouski and Alena Savich, arrested after silent protests actions in Minsk on July 6, report about tortures and cruel treatment.

Unknown men beat prisoners and refused access to medial aid, Viasna human rights centre reports.

Syarhei Kraido was detained at the action on July 6. He was taken to the Maskouski district police department of Minsk. The detainees were left there for until 3 am waiting for their reports to be made. Then they were taken to the temporary detention facility in Akrestsin Street. From the detention facility he was guarded to the Maskouski district court and sentenced to 10 days of administrative arrest.

The man spent his first day of arrest in a cell in the detention facility in Akrestsin Street, where he had to sleep on the bench, because there were no enough berths. On July 11, over 100 people were taken to a detention facility in Zhodzina town. Police vans were overcrowded with inmates. It was a problem with ventilation in vans, it was hard to breathe, the arrested man notes.

Syarhei Kraido says:

“Upon arriving in Zhodzina we were shown a “performance”. When we got out of vans, we saw a great number of police officers, heard dog barking and saw a masked riot policeman with a baton just near the van. We were guarded to a cellar and made to stand with the face against the wall.

Then were led through a dark tunnel one by one. Two masked men stood there. One of them hit in the stomach with his baton, the other one hit in the back of the head. We, 20 people, were placed in one cell. We stayed there until we were distributed among other cells. They call 3 or 4 persons, we were required to take off everything but underwear. Our clothes were checked and then we could go to cells.

I felt sick in Zhodzina. I asked guards to call a doctor for me, but they ignored my requests. When we were taken for a walk, I addressed senior police officers and they called a doctor for me.

We left the detention facility through the black door. Road police cars and policemen blocked the way to our relatives’ cars. We were taken to a field and left there.”

Syarhei Kalasouski and his wife Alena Savich were detained on July 6 near the National Library. The Pershamaiski district court of Minsk sentenced Syarhei Kalasouski to 7 days of arrest and Alena Savich to 10 days of arrest. Alena Savich said that she had been guarded to the Pershamaiski district police department after the detention. She heard such obscenities from police officers that “even construction workers are more polite”, she notes.

Policemen wanted to fingerprint Alena, but she refused, because the law does not oblige her to do this. The detainees were taken to the temporary detention facility in Akrestsin Street at 2 am. There were 8 women in the cell and only 5 berths, so they had to sleep two on one berth. The same was in Syarhei Kalasouski’s cell: there were 18 or 20 persons and 8 berths. Inmates were not taken for a walk and could not take a shower.

Like Syarhei Kraido, Alena Savich and Syarhei Kalasouski were transferred to Zhodzina on July 11. They also said the police vans were overcrowded and stuffy. The couple confirmed Syarhei Kraido’s words. They said the inmates were met by masked guards with dogs.

Girls were strip searched before being sent to cells. Escorting to the detention facility was accompanied by insults of inmates. Sanitary conditions in the Zhodzina detention facility were awful: there were lots of cockroaches in cells. A lot of prisoners had problems with the stomach due to bad food.

Toilets in cells were not protected from views. Guards watching prisoners through the eyehole in the door could see what people usually do in the toilet. Male guards could watch female prisoners in the toilet.

As Syarhei Kalasouski said, the guys were taken to an underground garage and met by a guards in a mask and camouflage uniform. “One by one, we were led through a corridor. A guard with a dog and people in camouflage uniforms were standing there. They beat people in the body and in the back of the head. Of course, they tried not to deliver strong hits not to leave traces. These actions were accompanied with obscenities, insults and intimidation of the arrested people,” Syarhei Kalasouski said.

The couple also confirmed that people left the detention facility through the black door and were taken in an unknown direction. Former prisoners were left without money, IDs and personal belongings (they did not have even shoe strings), because everything was left in the detention centre in Akrestsin Street and police departments of Minsk. They only had a certificate of release.