Minsk prosecution decided not to launch an investigation into beating of a former presidential candidate, Uladzimir Niaklayev.
On December 19th, when Niaklayev and a group of his supporters were on their way to join the mass opposition demonstration, they were attacked by masked men, who used sound bombs and threw people on the ground in a brutal manner. The former candidate was beaten so heavily, he lost his consciousness after a being hit with a stick in the back of his head. His face was smashed. Niaklayev was than taken to a hospital and kidnapped from there by KGB officers.
Niaklayev informed that the prosecutor’s office justified their decision with lack of material evidence. The process of decision-making whether to investigate took more than half a year. The medical expertise was performed 7 moths after the beating.
The dissident has not accepted prosecutor’s decision and will continue his efforts to have an investigation launched into his beating. – It’s not only about me, but about all participants of December 19th demonstration against election fraud – he said.
Minister of Interior, Anatol Kuliashov during a press conference on January 26th, was unable to say who attacked Niaklayev, but he was confident that masked men were not police officers. When journalists laughed at his response, he asked „Is it possible that police would attack a presidential candidate in the center of events, and journalist wouldn’t have record it? If that was the case, there would be photos circulating the world media. But it’s not the case. So I ask: who did beat him? The only sure answer is that it wasn’t the police“ – said Kuliashov. During the attack, every possible witness, including cameramen and photographers, were thrown on the ground, facing the snow.
The Ministry of Interior at the beginning presented its own version of events: police came across a group of aggressive people who marched along two cars. According to the police, the cars were full of explosive material. The police officers were unable to check what was inside the cars, because they were attacked by the protesters armed with metal sticks, stones and bats.
Few days later, the Ministry of Interior corrected their version: there was a bus, and Niaklayev with his supporters were beaten by activists of his political opponent – also from the opposition.