Minsk police batter chemistry student to film confession. Video appears on propagandist’s Telegram

In March, the Minsk police severely beat the detained 19-year-old student Artsyom Bayarski and filmed his confession. Then a pro-Lukashenka journalist published the on his Telegram channel, spring96.org reports.

In mid November, Bayarski, a 19-year-old student of Chemistry Department of the Belarusian State University (BSU), was arrested for 15 days for ‘participating in ‘an unauthorised mass event’ in Minsk. Notably, he was then detained not during, but after the so-called Wisdom March, when he was returning to his place. The young man was dragged into a van and battered.

On the eve of Belarusians’ unofficial Freedom Day, the policemen were after him again. At about 7.40 am on March 24, Artsyom was taken away from dormitory Nr 2 on Kastrychnitskaya Street in Minsk; the formal reason was the information that someone spotted a white-red-white flag on the 11th floor of the building. The details of the young man’s detention were discussed in student chats on social media platforms; according to eyewitnesses, his roommates were handcuffed and laid down on the floor.

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A day later, infamous Belarusian propagandist Ryhor Azaronak posted a video that showed Artsyom’s confessing to administering a public group on social media. To make the student say that for camera, the officers repeatedly hit him on the back and buttocks with truncheons, Artsyom told his lawyer during the interrogation on April 19.

The detainee was to have been released on April 18, but shortly before Artsyom was reported to be a suspect in the criminal case opened under Part 1 of Art. 361 of the Criminal Code (‘establishing an extremist formation’). The corresponding charge was brought against him on April 26. Now he is being held in the pre-trial detention centre on Valadarski Street in Minsk.

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