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Critical Blogger Beaten by Police, Punished with Heavy Fine

Critical Blogger Beaten by Police, Punished with Heavy Fine
Viktar Nikitsenka

Viktar Nikitsenka, a blogger writing for many independent media, including the Moscow office of Radio Liberty, Echo of Moscow and the website korrespondent.net, was detained and severely beaten by police officers on October 13 in Minsk.

The blogger came to Independence Square, “to express his position on the criminal Lukashenka, who has once again seized power in Belarus.” He was accompanied by two more persons. Then the blogger asked his friends to take his picture on the background of the Government House with a homemade poster “Lukashenka On Trial”, Viasna reports.

Several men in civilian clothes watched the scene, and then one of them, who looked liked a police officer, approached the protester and asked to see his ID and notebook.

In response, Viktar Nikitsenka asked him to show his ID, as well as to give his name and explain why he wanted to see the blogger’s passport. However, he refused to answer and walked away.

Half an hour later the protesters decided to leave the square and headed for the metro.

“On the stairs leading to the underpass, I was grabbed by the arms and dragged down by force. Naturally, I resisted and demanded to see their IDs... But I was dragged to the other side of the underpass, where a white bus was already waiting for me... I was insulted, I was beaten, I was intimidated, I was threatened with execution. “Poor working!” I told them, as they tried to threaten me in the white bus on the way to court. “Earlier, you would take me into the woods and killed, and now you only wag your tongues and swear. You are slaves. There will be 300 thousand of us. On the square, you will crawl before us.” After these words, the driver walked toward me. “Take off your glasses,” he said. I calmly took off my glasses. After that there was a blow in the face, and then a few more blows. As he hit me, he kept asking, “Me, slave?", giving me the opportunity to respond. I replied hitting him in the nose with my head. Then he went wild, clamped my head between his legs and started beating me on the sides and the back, in the kidneys,” says Viktar Nikitsenka.

Plain-clothes officers were aggressive and took away all the personal belongings, erased all the data from his phone and camera. They forbid to phone, after the blogger was brought to the police station, where he was held for nearly two hours.

Viktar’s two friends, who went with him to the Independence Square, Ales Papok and Siarhei Taustoi, were not detained.

On the same day, October 13, the blogger stood trial at the Maskoŭski District Court, which eventually sentenced him to a fine of 3.6 mln rubles for illegal picketing and 5.4 mln resisting arrest and insulting the judge.

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