I Was Being Lucky. Stas: ‘Riot police beat people who were lying on floor in two or three layers’

In 2020, Belarus became a country with thousands of detained, beaten, tortured people. In its project ‘I Was Being Lucky’, Belsat TV tells the stories of 21 Belarusians who suffered police brutality.

Election observer Stanislau Dzyadou and his girlfriend were detained in the evening on the street. A minibus stopped near them, plainclothes men came out and asked for their mobile phones. They thought that if they refused, they would be detained for sure. While the men were looking at photos and videos on the phones, the guy and the girl were taken to the bus. There they noticed a white ribbon on Stas’ arm and started beating him. Then they ordered the guy to lie on the floor and tied his hands. Then they noticed that the detainee also had a white-red-white belt.

Stanislau. Photo: Belsat

They cut it, pulled his underpants and tore them. Soon the minibus stopped, and Stas was handed over to other law enforcement officers. They doused him with white paint with the words: ” When have you last been to a barber?” Then Stas got into a police carrier, where people were lying on the floor in two or three layers. Those at the top were beaten, and Stas was at the bottom. He couldn’t even turn his head – his body was pressed down so hard from above.

Stas and other detainees were then taken to another bus. One of the security officers noticed white paint on the guy and with the words: “It was you throwing paint at us,” hit him several times. All the men from the bus had to run across the live corridor to the carrier, which was already driving to Akrestsin Street.

Stas came out of the carrier through the infamous live corridor. He stood on his knees by the wall of the remand prison for about three hours. Sometimes security officers approached and beat him, saying: “So you wanted democracy? Here are the changes for you.” The guy was pulled out several times on purpose, put on the ground and beaten with questions: “Did you throw paint at us? Did you throw stones at us?” At one point, it seemed to Stas that the law enforcement officers finally realized that it was not he who was throwing paint, and stopped beating him.

Three hours later they were ordered to get up and run to the building through another corridor of the policemen. The man’s felt he was going to faint and asked for ammonia. In response he got only blows. He was ordered to run to the third floor, but failed and fell down on the stairs. Under the threat “Get up, or I’ll hit you with truncheon” – he got up, but soon collapsed again while waiting for allocation to the cells. Another detainee was allowed to help Stas enter the cell.

A quadruple cell where 28 people were held together with Stas. In the space of 3 by 5 meters there was a table, two nightstands, a bench, two bunk beds, a washbasin, a toilet. People slept in pairs on one bed, on a table, on nightstands, sitting on benches.

Drawing by Stanislau. Photo: Belsat

Stas, as the worst beaten man, was let into the best place in the cell. It was difficult for him to get up, most of the time the guy was lying or sitting. The trial over Stas never took place. He spent a little more than two days in the isolation ward on Akrestsin Street. And his sick leave ended only on September 7, almost a month after the detention.

Get acquainted with our interviewees and read their stories here.