18 September 2019, Wednesday, 13:31
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Opposition In Belarus Demands Open Trials

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Opposition In Belarus Demands Open Trials

Is the take-down of the security forces by Lukashenka an ordinary PR move?

Lukashenka had acknowledged the numerous facts of lawlessness in the law-enforcement system. Experts believe that this was done for populist purposes under public pressure. The opposition requires publicizing cases of abuse and public trials of perpetrators, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes.

“The law-enforcement officers are blamed for committing the things they must fight against,” Lukashenka said during a meeting dedicated to the quality of work of the law-enforcement agencies. “For example, if the Chief Office for Countering Organized Crime or an investigator somehow make up or form a criminal case, and something doesn’t work at a certain stage (a lawyer took a certain position, a suspect, a witness or someone “does not understand” the people in uniform), pressure begins on them, up to the judges,” he said, revealing the details of the work of the law-enforcement agencies.

Lukashenka admitted that investigating authorities falsify evidence “in order to obtain the desired result in advance”. The motivation in this case can be different - both self-interest (make the right decision for a bribe), and “the desire of officials to ensure the fulfillment of operational performance indicators and statistical reporting, set as a task by the management,” Aliaksandr Lukashenka continued to reveal the secrets of success of the investigative bodies. According to his information, the investigators take fingerprints from the detainees and then put them on the necessary items, which is proof of guilt. “Such cases were revealed in the work of the Central, Frunzenski, Maskouski district departments of internal affairs of the city of Minsk (you see, they seem advanced in Minsk, learned how to work), as well as in the Mahiliou and Homel inter-district departments,” said Lukashenka.

Lukashenka was forced to admit "the facts of excessive use of force and special means against citizens." "They force two-meter guys weighing 150 kg in all uniforms - with sticks, ammunition and weapons - to break into citizens' houses and torture them," he said.

Lukashenka also mentioned frequent cases of termination of criminal cases due to the lack of corpus delicti. Despite the fact that defendants could stay jail for months and years: "They put a man in prison, the poor man is suffering in a detention center. Time passes, there is no evidence. The man gets released." According to him, in 2017 there were 31 such cases, in 2018 - 27. The courts also have to restore justice. In 2018, they passed acquittals against 80 citizens, in 2017 - 100, and in the first half of 2019 there a

have been already 50. Moreover, in 2017, five cases concerned the murder charge.

During the take-down of the law-enforcement officers, Lukashenka was able to explain why so many young people in Belarus were convicted under a drug article, although they themselves say that they either didn’t see drugs in their eyes at all, or used once, but didn’t distribute anything. As reported, the movement of mothers of such adolescents who were sentenced to long terms (5-10 years) self-organized in the country. They periodically picket the Lukashenka Administration and go to receptions with its head and other officials, begging to release the children who have been imprisoned out of stupidity or chance. Lukashenka admitted that cases have been identified when police officers themselves incited citizens to purchase and use drugs, and then detained and punished them. This was done to achieve the necessary indicators in the fight against drug trafficking.

"We have no presumption of innocence. The investigation is putting pressure on the court," said Chairman of the Supreme Court of Belarus Valiantsin Sukala, who has headed this office for 22 years, nailing down the national justice.

Abuses in the law-enforcement sphere were previously reported by human rights activists and public activists, and non-state media wrote about them. Repeatedly, human rights defenders helped victims of the police prepare appeals to the UN Human Rights Committee. A striking example is the case of Aliaksandr Akulich, who died in 2012 in a temporary detention center in Svetlahorsk. According to his mother, he was tortured there, and when he became ill, they did not call an ambulance on time. She sought the initiation of a criminal case within three years, went through all Belarusian instances and appealed to the UN Human Rights Committee. The Viasna human rights center has many similar stories, their outcome is most often the same - citizens fail to prove anything.

The Belarusian public is accustomed to such accusations from the opposition and human rights activists, but they sound very different from the lips of the head of state, who has been in power for 25 years and created this system himself. "From what was said at the meeting, it follows that such chaos in Belarus is often created precisely by those who are supposed to stand guard over the law. That is, gangster methods are used not by villains in the night, not by small racketeers, but by people in uniform, who have power and authority," writes Aliaksandr Klaskouski, political observer of Belapan, regarding the revelations of Aliaksandr Lukashenka. He does not exclude that the authorities do this following the advice of political strategists.

However, at the expert level, other versions, including conspiracy theological ones, of voicing such egregious facts by Lukashenka are also called. For example, the redistribution of power between the power blocks and their state curators. In particular, strengthening the positions of the KGB and Viktar Lukashenka, Lukashenka's national security assistant, who supervises the power block. (Viktar is the son of Aliaksandr Lukashenka.)