65-year-old Lyudmila Khlusevich will be tried for an insulting comment about a policeman from Vyaleika. Over the past six months, the pensioner has undergone a search, about 10 interrogations, checks in one criminal case and charges in another.
For six months, a woman suffering from leukaemia remains distressed. Due to that, insomnia, anxiety, hypertensive crises and panic attacks became her daily companions. The woman lost 9 kilograms, she had thoughts of suicide.
“They completely finished me off,” says the pensioner. “When there was a search in the apartment on May 19, my blood pressure was 210. I asked to call an ambulance. They do not spare anyone. And his mother is the same age as me! They also interrogated me in the police station for 5 hours straight – and this with my nerves and my health! They will shorten my life. Well, it’s my fault, I wrote that insulting word under the influence of my emotions. I’d rather they shot me than tortured me like that.”
Investigators came to Lyudmila for the first time on January 14 this year and took her to the police station, where she was interrogated for 4 hours on a criminal case for insulting a policeman on the Odnoklassniki social network. Under the photo of the policeman who, according to the author of the post, beat the protesters in Akrestsin detention centre, the woman wrote a comment: “Crazy dogs should be shot.” Ms. Lyudmila fully admitted her guilt and even agreed to record a penitential video with an apology to the policeman. The investigation lasted for several months, according to which no criminal proceedings were instituted against the pensioner.
Having experienced a lot of stress, Lyudmila sighed with relief, but her joy was premature.
At the end of April, investigators reopened her investigation and opened a criminal case under Art. 369 of the Criminal Code (“Public insult of a government official in connection with the performance of his official duties”). The woman is accused of another comment in Odnoklassniki under the photo of a policeman from Vyaleika, who also allegedly beat the protesters. Upset by the news of the beatings, she left a comment: “Beast”.
“When I saw the video of the police beating these unfortunate children after the election, I passed it all through my heart and soul. I imagined that if my son was killed or beaten there… I cried all the time and could not sleep because of the violence committed by the police. And, influenced by my emotions, I wrote such a comment under someone else’s post,” Lyudmila Khlusevich says with tears in her eyes.
Pending trial, the woman wrote a note in case of her untimely death:
“I ask the state to be blamed for my death. I can’t live like that anymore. My health and life led to death. I was sick, they worsened my condition. I lived to see retirement, but could not bear such humiliation and torture. I lived honestly, did not steal, did not kill. I was killed and brought to death. Let everyone know: my relatives, acquaintances, relatives and friends.”
Art. 369 of the Criminal Code provides for such penalties as: fines, community service, imprisonment or restriction of liberty. The woman is convinced that with her state of health she will not survive imprisonment, and paying a huge fine from her meagre pension will make her starve (the pensioner receives 340 roubles).
Hundreds of criminal cases have been launched in Belarus since the election. According to the Viasna human rights centre, at least 600 people were punished under this article. The vast majority of defendants get restriction of freedom.
Hanna Kavalchuk, belsat.eu