Arrested activist Dzyadok tear-gassed, threatened with rape, stifled with pillow

Міkalai Dzyadok.

Mediazona has interviewed a man who had a conversation with anarchist movement activist Mikalai Dzyadok in the detention centre in Akrestsin Street in Minsk. He revealed the grave details of the arrest on condition of anonymity.

According to him, security forces broke into the 32-year-old anarchist’s place through the window at about 11 pm on November, 11. They started to batter and stifle Mikalai with a pillow, trying to beat the passwords to the system and Telegram channel out of him. When the search began, they brought neighbours as witnesses, but barred Dzyadok from talking to them.

“During the search, they took out three bottles which had not been [in the house] before. There was a very strong smell of gasoline,” Dzyadok told his interlocutor.

After the search, the officers decided to film a video. They pushed Dzyadok into a small closet and sprayed tear gas there. Then they let him go out and fired pepper gas at his face, straight in his eyes. They said they would not allow him to wash the face until he made an on-the-record confession.

“They constantly threatened to rape him, urinate on him; they said they would take him to the Gestapo or to the forest,” the source told Mediazona.

Anarchist Dzyadok detained and beaten by police

After midnight, Mikalai was driven to the Minsk department of the Main Directorate for Combating Organised Crime and Corruption. There he was batoned, kicked and stun-gunned; the officers wanted him to disclose passwords and names of TG channel administrators. He had to spend the night lying facedown on the floor.

Dzyadok’s torturers warned he would be murdered in prison if he said a word about them. He did not know their names, the source added.

Now Mikalai Dzyadok is being held in pre-trial detention centre #1 in Minsk. A few days ago, he was charged under Article 342-1 of the Criminal Code (‘organisation and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them’). The authorities state that Dzyadok who for several years had administered TG channel Mikola repeatedly called Belarusians for participating in mass riots.

His defence lawyer Natallya Matskevich has also made the case that her client was severely beaten when being detained; she has appealed for conducting a forensic examination.

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