21 January 2018, Sunday, 3:36

Tortures at a police department: gas masks, horizontal stands, gun in the mouth


Sadists in uniform force testimonies out of people by all means.

We are already used to the fact that “political prisoners” are beaten during manifestations and at police stations. But common people also suffer from policemen, Radio Svaboda reports.

“A woman took me to the room 235. She immediately handcuffed me and started beating me: she was swearing all the time, beat me with her legs and arms. And she said: if testimonies needed, than all the drivers from the parking would be against you, because you steal accumulators from cars. She goes out, another one comes in – and all the same – they beat me like that for three hours. Than they put me into a horizontal stand and I lay on the floor for about three hours, also being beaten”, - Vasili Sarochyk tells about his detention in the Lenin district’s police department in Minsk.

At the end of the previous year it became known that the Investigatory Committee stopped the preliminary investigation against the policemen, who beat the guard Sarochyk. Vasili Sarochyk himself says that he did not receive any documents, but he will go “till the end” with that.

After the case of Vasili Sarochyk they started again to talk out loud that they use tortures in Belarusian police. A human rights activist Valiantsin Stefanovich is sure that it is impossible to know how widely the Belarusian police use tortures, but there are really a lot of cases like that.

The leader of Platforma Andrei Bandarenka confirms that too. It was exactly the web-site of that organization that first posted the testimonies of Vasili Sarochyk: “No one wants to tell. Leave alone to sue”.

It is practically impossible to proceed with such a case to the trial in the Belarusian conditions. For example, at the beginning of December Pavel Plaksa was sentenced to 10-year imprisonment. He was accused of robbery. However Plaksa denied his testimonials in court. He claimed that he had been tortured at the same Lenin district’s police department. They called the ambulance to the police department three times and the beatings were registered by doctors. As a result the statements of Pavel Plaksa, who was already condemned, were left without attention.

Gulin’s case

“The guy’s face was going blue right before my eyes, hematomas were swelling out – and they said: nothing happened”, - an artist Mikhail Gulin revolts.

There was no success in proving the beatings of the 18-year old participant of an artistic performance Uladzislau Luk’yanchyk either. Mikhail Gulin together with three volunteers were detained in the center of Minsk at the beginning of December. They all state that at the Central police department a warrant officer Uladzimir Nahodzka beat dark-skinned Uladzislau Luk’yanchyk to the extent of a brain concussion.

“He (the warrant officer Uladzimir Nahodzka – ed.)told him “Hey, Zimbabwe, get going”. When I made a note to him, he said “We will now apply an individual program to you”, - Gulin said.

Another participant of the project – a photographer and camerawoman Tatiana Gaurylchyk – says that they twisted her arms and handcuffed her at the police station.

“When we were sitting there, a most savage case happened. Policemen took a homeless person to the next room. And we heard how they were beating him and his terrible screams. After that he simply crawled on all fours to the rooms for detainees”, - Gulin says.

The court of the Central district decided that the artists were detained illegally. But the court did not appeal on the policemen’s actions and did not file a criminal case against them – “no evidence”.

"Vitebsk case-2"

“It all started in 2009 before the Slavic Bazar. They were expecting Lukashenka to come, - a Vitebsk journalist Grigoriy Grak tells. – They violently killed a man behind the regional hospital. There were more than 30 stabbings, the Adam’s apple was torn out”.

In a week police detained “the criminals”. They appeared to be several teenage gymnasium students of 16-17 years old. Two were later brought charges against and another one gave himself up.

Khachatur Khachaturian, the father of Aliaksandr Loginau, one of the accused, does not conceal the emotions: “One of the guys is an orphan, two of them are from one-parent families. To make two children confess a brutal murder! What one has to do for that? Only the third one did not take the guilt and then they had it all falling apart. When the children were questions with lawyers and parents present, as it was supposed to be, then they, of course, denied their previous testimonies. It was awful what happened there. They put convicted murderers into the cell with the 16-year olds. Isn’t it a violation? The investigator Shchetsko should have been in prison now, but he is the deputy head of the Investigatory Committee for the Vitebsk region. It is interesting, by the way! Almost everyone, who was involved in our children’s case, were transferred from the prosecutor’s office to the Investigatory Committee”.

There was a trial in 2010.

“I was there at several session. They told how they had been tortured at the Pervomaiskiy police department in Vitebsk. Not only gas masks were there. They put a gun into one guy’s mouth. They put them on a table and said: we will put a screwdriver somewhere if you do not confess. They told that all in the court. There were a lot of testimonies, the people present had their hair standing up”, - Grigoriy Grak told.

The Mogilev regional court found the guys innocent and released them. Aliaksandr Loginau never admitted the guilt.

“I personally was proud and am proud of him, - Khachatur Sambatavich says. – He never testified against his friends either, and did not took the guilt. They would force anyone there. It all started with the Mikhasevich’s case. I personally know the guy’s from the Mikhasevich’s case: Kavaliou, Pashkevich, Valera Garely, he left the prison blind and died shortly”.

They all remember well the case of the maniac Gennadiy Mikhasevich in Vitebsk. From 1971 to 1985 he killed 36 women. And the Soviet police destroyed the lives of 14 innocent people when looking for the criminal.

After the explosion in Vitebsk in September 2005 the brothers Vitali and Yuriy Murashka were detained as the ones accused of it. They also testified that police forced testimonies out of them by tortures. The prosecutor’s office did not listen to the brothers. Although they were released from prison and even paid a compensation.

Aliaksandr Loginau did the obligatory military service and now is studying at a university in absentia. At the end of the year it became known that the Investigatory Committee stopped the criminal case against the policemen from the Vitebsk’s Pervomaiskiy police department.

Khachatur Khachaturian, however, is not going to stop: “The investigator Shilau has been dealing with those beatings for two years. And then what? He is now in the Investigatory Committee! And at the beginning of the investigation he shouted “I found a torture room – there are gas masks, and sharpened metal bars, and handcuffs there!”

“I told myself that I will not let those animals sleep calmly, - Khachatur Khachaturian says. – I appeal and will appeal everywhere. They should know it, their neighbors, friends. They children should know at school. So they would spit in the eyes of those animals”.