On Sunday, 6 September, mass protests took place in Minsk, which were followed by numerous arrests across the city. Plainclothesmen, some with masks or balaclavas over their faces, dragged people out of cafes, beat them with batons and pulled into unmarked vehicles without licence plates.
After brutal detentions started, some protesters tried to hide in the O’Petit coffee shop on Pobediteley, 3. A cafe employee locked the doors, but this did not stop the unidentified men in tracksuits and masks. They broke the glass door and began to detain people there.
In this video footage, one can first hear the sound of breaking glass, and then one can see how the unidentified men (it was later revealed that they were police officers) are dragging, beating and detaining people, mostly men. Below are the videos from two different angles.
The doors to the Minsk cafe with a rubber baton were smashed by a man in an “Interior Ministry” cap. He was recognized as the head of the Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus Nikolai Karpenkov.
The press secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Olga Chemodanova did not confirm or deny information about whether Karpenkov was among those detaining protesters in the cafe.
She said: “Early reports say: police officers pursued active participants in an unauthorized mass event. These citizens provoked the police officers by their conduct (deliberately acted defiantly, used abusive language against the officers).
When the police officers tried to detain the activists, they locked themselves in a cafe, basically, barricaded themselves. There were less than 10 of them, the police officers at first repeatedly asked to open the door, but they did not open it. After that, a decision was made to detain these citizens.”
Whether Nikolai Karpenkov was among them, Chemodanova did not confirm or deny. The Investigative Committee was summoned to the scene, the incident is under investigation. Earlier, Interior Minister Yury Karayev said that the Belarusian police “are the most humane, restrained and cold-blooded police force in the world.”