13-year-old Anastasia was detained last Sunday in Grodno, near Sovetskaya Square, where a protest rally was to take place and an agricultural fair was held. Security forces were on duty at the fair, several special vehicles were spotted nearby. The girl came to the city center with her stepfather.
The stroll ended with a conflict between a man and law enforcement officers, as a result, both the girl and the man were brutally detained. A video of the girl’s detention caused a major stir in society. A few hours later, the teenager was taken from the district internal affairs office by her mother, her stepfather was sentenced to seven days of arrest.
Alla, the girl’s mother, says that her husband Alexander and his friend went to the square to see if a protest rally would take place there. They took Nastya with them.
“I think that a child has nothing to do at the rallies. We ourselves can go and express our civil position, but we didn’t take Nastya with us. This Sunday Sasha did not say where they were going, he just offered her to come with him. I didn’t know about it, as well as I didn’t know that he drank. Of course, I would not allow my daughter to go with him,” says the woman.
Nastya says that there were many law enforcement officers near the square. The stepfather stopped near one of them and starting talking to them. They, according to the girl, responded: “What, do you want to talk? We’ll talk now.” “They said something else, but we went further.”
The man and the girl decided to go into the yard and then head home, but at some point realised that Alexander’s friend was not around and returned. The girl recalls that this is when all hell broke loose. The police officers said something, the man responded and a few minutes later six security officers ran up to him.
The law enforcement officers, according to the teenager, handcuffed her stepfather. There were people screaming, she got scared and poured some coca-cola on one of them. “There was a little left in the bottle. She splashed it on someone,” says the girl’s mother.
Nastya recalls that at some point, the security forces began to spray pepper gas. Earlier, the police stated that the gas was used against the father who behaved agressively and not the 13-year-old. However, Nastya assures that the gas stream was directed precisely at her.
“The shirt is white, and everything else is orange, we think that these are traces of gas. Her whole face, her chest was as if burned, it was red and burned,” says Alla. Then the law enforcement officers dragged Anastasia and her stepfather to the paddy wagon.
“I didn’t resist, but they tied me up very quickly. I could not move or do anything. It felt as if someone pushed me in the back, between the shoulders. I was very scared, first, for my stepfather, then for myself when I was in the paddy wagon.”
Nastya wrote to her mother that she was in a paddy wagon and asked to take her home. The girl tried to find out where the police were taking them but they didn’t tell.
“I called the Oktyabrsky District Department of Internal Affairs. Earlier, most people were taken there. There I was told that they could not take the child. Then it turned out that she was in the Leninsky District Department of Internal Affairs,” says Alla.
After the conversation, the girl and her mother were released. The next day a school commission and a policeman came to check the living conditions of the child.
“They said that they would give an answer whether they would register Nastya as a child at risk within 15 days. As we understood, she could be registered with the juvenile affairs commissions.
We have no problems at home, we work, my daughter is a good student, there are no complaints about her at school. Of course, I understand that it was wrong to take to the city center on Sunday, especially since Sasha was drunk,” says Alla.
Alexander is now in the temporary detention facility, after the Sunday incident, he was arrested for seven days.