Mahiliou activist beaten by police and jailed

The activist of “Country for Life” Alyaksei Barysau was taken to hospital the day before March 25. On March 23 the police detained him on his way to work. On the same day, he was taken to hospital with high blood pressure and a bruised head. The man claimed he was beaten by policemen in the service vehicle. On March 29th he was to leave the hospital, but he was taken to jail. Alyaksei was tried without his participation for something even his wife Iryna did not know.

On 22 March Alyaksei Barysau, a volunteer with the “Country for Life” project, received a phone call from the prosecutor’s office and was told to come in for a preventive conversation on the eve of Freedom Day. On 23 March the man was detained on his way home from work. Iryna, Alyaksei’s wife, says that the prosecutor’s office was going to serve him a summons. The man managed to tell his wife about his arrest and beating when he was brought to the hospital.

Alyaksei Barysau. Photo: Belsat

At the hospital Iryna found out from her husband the details. After his arrest, he was beaten by two policemen in the service vehicle. At the police station, the man’s blood pressure skyrocketed and he felt sick.

Iryna said that Alyaksei’s head was all black from the beatings and he had a blue eye. She brought a new phone and a SIM-card because the old one was taken by the police.

Alyaksei managed to tell human rights activists that he was beaten by employees of law enforcers. The photo shows traces of beatings on his head. Photo: Alyaksei Barysau

Alyaksei stayed in hospital on Sunday. The man was to be discharged on Monday, March 29. His wife was going to pick him up, but couldn’t: he was taken to the detention center. The trial was held without his participation, the man was sentenced to 7 days of administrative arrest in absentia while he was in the hospital.

When they searched his phone, they found that he was subscribed to a channel that was recognized as extremist in Belarus, said Iryna.

In January, Alyaksei was fined 35 basic units (1,015 rubles) for flying the national flag on the balcony. Alyaksei Barysau, a volunteer for “Country for Life” in Mahiliou, has been repeatedly repressed and lost his job because of his civic activism. Since 2007, he worked as a soil scientist at the “Mogilevgiprozem” design institute, and on December 31, 2020, he was forced to write a resignation letter. Alyaksei’s dismissal was preceded by administrative protocols, visits to the police department and the trial for his participation in a peaceful protest rally.