Special Forces agents detained audience at Europe’s last dictator first run

The film showing was to take place at 7.30 p.m. on April 30, 2012 in a private house in Minsk. But five minutes into the film viewing masked agents broke the door down. They stroke all the men present down to the floor; the girls were ordered to set to the wall. The agents did not give any explanations to their actions, no official documents were drawn up.

The special forces agents broke a camera screen and stole a memory card priced at $700.

«The arrest was tough – the impression is that the agents were getting kick out of violence as if they had disclosed terrorists,» cameraman Siarhei Krauchuk, who intended to film the event, said.

Twenty viewers were taken to the police station (The Savetsky District Department of the Interior). They were kept in the assembly hall “for the purpose of identification” till midnight, mobile phones and personals being taken away. There was an under-age girl among the detained; the police did not inform her parents of the arrest and broke legal requirements by that.

The detainees were shown out the assembly hall one-by-one and fingerprinted. Moreover, each was photographed holding a number card. Siarhei Krauchuk got number 1736. In his opinion, this is the way that a special database of persons posing a threat to the authority is being established.

Officials of The Savetsky District Department of the Interior refused to give any comment on what had happened and recommended addressing all the questions to a superior body.

Europe’s Last Dictator, a film by Mathew Charles and Juan Luis Passarelli, was shown at the 2012 London Independent film Festival (LIFF). The Festival jury pronounced it the winner in Best Documentary category. The film exposes torture, state-sponsored murder and kidnap inside the Belarus of president Aliaksandr Lukashenka.



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