Famous Protest Photo: Law Enforcer And Protester Tell Own Versions Of Incident

A photo of a man lying on the grass and a law enforcement officer standing next to him with his arms wide open was published by many mass media, both local and international. It was taken on the night of 9-10 August in Minsk near the war memorial, where the law enforcers ruthlessly dispersed the people who disagreed with the election results.

On 24 August, RT published the video where this law enforcement officer told his version of the incident. According to his version, he was trying to save the man, who was under the heavy influence of alcohol and drugs. The medical reports said that there were no drugs or alcohol in the guy’s blood, though.

belarus election protests

A law enforcement officer gestures next to a man laying on the ground during clashes with opposition supporters after polls closed at the presidential election in Minsk on 9 August. Photo: Reuters

The law enforcement officer wearing a black balaclava stayed anonymous. He said that if he hadn’t called the ambulance, “something terrible could have happened” as the detainee “was under the heavy influence of alcohol and drugs”.

“We got one detainee. We then found out that he was drunk and high. We were told much later that, thank God, it was a miracle we found medical help as it could turn into a disaster. The guy was with us. Then he felt unwell.

We caught him and put into our vehicle. I saw an ambulance and ordered my guys to bring him there. A human life and health are most important. He must be cured no matter what a bad person he was that night. He mustn’t die, he must live,” the soldier said.

The soldier also said that he was trying to provide help on his own and wake the guy up.

“And here, in 50 metres, people shouted: ‘Let him go!’ I was telling them that I was trying to help. They didn’t listen to me. The crowd got mad. Then I stand up, put my hands off and show to them that I don’t touch him. What now? And the guy is on the ground. I told my partner to run after medics, because the crowd wasn’t going to help.”

belarus election protests

An injured protester Evgeny Zaichkin lies on the ground while receiving assistance during clashes with law enforcement officers after presidential election polls closed in Minsk on 9 August. Photo: Reuters

Not a word of truth

Unlike the soldier, the guy from the image does not hide his name. Eugeny Zaichkin says that there is no truth in the video. He assumes that the photo was taken when soldiers were carrying him from the paddy wagon into the ambulance. When the photo was published, Eugeny’s family got many condolences – people thought he died.

belarus election protests

A law enforcement officer kneels next to an injured protester Evgeny Zaichkin, who lies on the ground during clashes after presidential election polls closed in Minsk on 9 August. Photo: Reuters

“I fainted in the paddy wagon. They decided to pass me to doctors. What happened next, I don’t remember.”

Eugeny got severely beaten during the arrest. According to the man, they beat him all over his body, head and face. Eugeny didn’t even try to resist. During the arrest, he knelt down and put his hands in the air.

“Closed head trauma, brain concussion, upper lip contusion. Distortion of the capsular ligamentous apparatus of the cervical spine,” Eugeny’s medical card reads. There is nothing about alcohol and drugs in the full version of the card. Also, the card says that Eugeny had clear consciousness on admission to hospital.

Doctors at Emergency Care Hospital also do not confirm the information about alcohol and drugs in Eugeny’s blood. One of the pages from the medical card is the examination on admission to hospital. As we were explained, this document indicates that the person was not under any influence of alcohol and drugs.

“This is a legal document. And if a person has any kind of intoxication, it must be indicatedi,” the specialist says.

During the meeting with CIS Executive Secretary, Head of the CIS observation mission Sergei Lebedev, Alexander Lukashenko said that “sheep”, “junkies”, and “kids” took to the streets that night.

Source: TUT.BY