18 January 2018, Thursday, 10:59

10 years in prison after confession under torture


Pavel Plaksa from Minsk was sentenced to 10 years in a medium security penal colony.

The man was detained only because investigators supposed he might have been near the scene of crime. He “confessed” to theft and arson in the police department. Pavel's relatives say it was done under torture, Belsat TV reports.

Pavel Plaksa was detained on May 30. His mother said investigators in the Leninski district police department had beaten him and pressed psychologically by threatening to his relatives. He confessed after three days of tortures.

His mother says policemen used “inhuman methods”, put a plastic bag over Pavel's head, beat him cruelly, jumped on his back as he was lying face down, etc. Plaksa's relatives say Pavel lost consciousness several times in the police department. An ambulance was called three times. Doctors indirectly confirm he was beaten. They confirmed he had bruises, couldn't move his arm and could hardly walk.

What happens in the Leninski district police department?

Complaints at torture and cruel treatment in the Leninski district police department were sent to all possible agencies both by the convicted man and his relatives. Watchman Vasily Sarochyk also companied at beating by policemen in the Leninski district police department. Police officers wanted him to confess to theft.

Human rights activists note that the Leninski district police department obtained  notoriety for using torture.

“It was absolute lawlessness there until recently. We know the stories of Pavel Plaksa and Vasily Sarochyk. We have information about other cases of beating people and initiating criminal procedures. People are scared. They are not ready to say about this in public,” says Andrei Bandarenka, the head of Platform organisation that collects information about torture in Belarusian jails and police stations.

Bandarenka notes that judges rarely turn attention to words of defendants, who say they had to confess under torture.

The Investigation Committee started a criminal case in connection with beating of Vasily Sarochyk in the Leninski district police department.