Last week, the video of the Minsk police’s brutally detaining a man caused a storm among Belarusian Internet users.
The video shows six persons (policemen and metro employees) choked beating a young man at Kastrychnitskaya metro station in Minsk.
Eyewitness Tatsyana Strelnikava claims that the man did not disturb public order before being detained.
The city police refused to comment on the excessive use of force against the passenger, However, the police state that the arrestee, who was reportedly intoxicated, broke a policeman’s nose. A criminal case has initiated against him for violent resistance to a police officer. The man may face up to 6 years of imprisonment.
Why did six people, including law enforcement officers, fail to detain one allegedly drunk man without bloodspilling? And why did they fail to give reasons for detention to passers-by if he was really posing a threat to them? Human rights are referring to the lack of professionalism of the police and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
„In Belarus, there are no supervisory agencies which could have an impact on the ministry. Secondly, one can clearly see the arbitrariness of policemen, who believe that if they are entrusted to preserve peace and order, they can do all they want,” human rights defender and ex-political prisoner Andrey Bandarenka says.
It is not the first time the police have battered a person in the subway. 1.5 years ago policemen attacked a blind man at Uruchcha metro station and then said that he had showed resistance. On New Year’s Eve, the police shot in the back of an unarmed man in Minsk. For the year to date, drunk police officers caused three traffic accidents. But Interior Minister Ihar Shunevich is tight-lipped about his subordinates’ faults.