On New Year’s Eve, the police took Dzmitry Uskhopau, a 27-year-old resident of Rechytsa, to a local hospital, where he died. His family believes the deceased was severely beaten by the policemen.
On the night of January 1, Dzmitry Uskhopau was going to his mother’s place; they were about to have a festal dinner, palesse.press reports. However, the man was detained by a police patrol at the bus stop at about 11 pm. In an interview with the media outlet Flagpost, a relative admits that Dzmitry and his friends were under the influence of alcohol at the moment of the detention; they had allegedly drunk some sparkling wine.
“According to witnesses, they were approached by the officers of the patrol and guard service, and Dzima [Dzmitry Uskhopau] refused to obey their orders. They called for a back-up, and a patrol car with five more people arrived. Dzima was taken to the police department. I don’t know for sure what happened there – they might have battered him during interrogation, they might gave hit him in the head once or fired a shot from a pneumatic gun,” the interviewee said.
A bit later, the police officers brought him to the reception ward of the district hospital in a state of clinical death. When his relatives saw him, his clothes were torn, he seemed to have been poured with water – even his underwear was wet. On his forehead there was a 1.5 cm round wound. His wrists were blue (it should be noted that the Belarusian police often cuff detainees’ hands).
Dzmitry Uskhopau’s relatives claim that he was beaten to a pulp at the police station; when the detaineed stopped showing signs of life, the officers might have poured water on him and tried to resuscitate him, the family suggests. Allegedly, when they failed to bring Dzmitry to life, they took him to the hospital, where he passed away.
“They killed him – the police killed him,” Alena, the mother of the deceased, told the newspaper Nasha Niva.
In turn, the Belarusian Investigative Committee says that the death of 27-year-old Dzmitry Uskhopau was not caused by any traumas – no injuries or internal fractures were reportedly found in the body. In accordance with the authorities version, Dzmitry Uskhopau was ‘heavily intoxicated’, and his condition took a turn for the worse only after they left the police station. At the same time, the investigators confirm the fact of using force against the detainee. A forensic medical examination is scheduled to determine the cause of death.
“The man was transported to Rechytsa police department, then to the district hospital so that he could undergo a medical examination as part of the administrative case. The man collapsed on the way to the health care institution. He was urgently taken to the reception ward, where resuscitation was started. Despite the doctors’ efforts, he was certified dead at 1.20 am,” the press release reads.
Dzmitry Uskhopau has a 5-year-old daughter.