Five 17-year-old students were detained on 27 October in Minsk after a rally of with striking students in the courtyard of the Belarusian State University. Four of them were beaten by security forces, after which they ended up in hospital – some were diagnosed with a concussion, others with head injuries – the deregistered human rights center Vesna reports.
“When I was running, someome tripped me and I fell. They immediately grabbed me and threw into a bus, my classmate was already there. They hit me twice in the face because I tried to raise my head. And then they continued to beat me on the head.
And after that, they put us into another bus, there were already guys with whom we were near the BSU. They later said that they were beaten too. We were lying on top of each other, although there were empty seats on the bus. There we were also beaten, they broke my classmate’s nose,” one of the students said.
According to the guy, students were insulted and threatened with jail. The students were taken to the Oktyabrsky district internal affairs office, where they were charged with Art. 23.34 [breaching the order for organizing and holding mass events] and Art. 23.4 [disobedience to a lawful order or requirement of an official in the exercise of his official powers].
After the student was released from the police department, he was taken to hospital, where he was diagnosed with a concussion.
“I still don’t understand why we were detained,” said the guy.
They said that if he left blood stains in a car, he would lick it
The 17-year-old girl was not beaten, but the she was taken to a polce department where she was charged with the same administrative offences.
“At some point we were thrown face down on the floor, we were all lying on top of each other. We were not allowed to raise our heads, but then one riot policeman sat me down next to him and told me to calm down. They were twlling us that we would be ‘locked up’ and expelled all the way, but he said that everything would be fine,” said the girl.
According to the girl, when they were taken to the bus, her classmate’s nose started bleeding: “His pants were covered in blood. At first he was not allowed to wipe it off, but then they gave him his own jacket and said that if he got the car dirty, he would lick it later.”
Commenting on the reports of police beating students during detention the Ministry of Internal Affairs said in a statement that “some journalists tried to distort the information and reported that the detainees were ‘severely beaten’.”
According to the MIA, four students resisted and tried to escape during the arrest, one of them fell and broke his nose. Reportedly, nobody filed complaints or grievances against police officers. Recall that on 27 October, Belarusian students staged protest rallies.
Alexander Lukashenko commented on them too: “Whoever takes part in an unauthorized rally in violation of the law, they lose the right to be students. Send them, as I said, to the army or to the street – let them walk the streets. But they must be expelled from the university.” And after that, a number of students were expelled from the universities.