Belarusians pay last tribute to Henadz Shutau who was fatally wounded by police

Last farewell to Henadz Shutau. Zhabinka, 24 August 2020. Photo: Milana Kharytonava / belsat.eu

On August 24, the fifth victim of the pacification of protests was buried in the town of Zhabinka (Brest region). On August 11, Henadz Shutau, a father to five kids, was shot in the head by the Brest police during the crackdown on protests.

He was at first admitted to Brest regional hospital, but then taken in an unconscious state by helicopter to Minsk military hospital, his diagnosis being ‘open penetrating gunshot wound to skull, brain smash injury. Skull cup multifragmental fracture, skull base affected’. It took the relatives two days to find out what happened and where the casualty was located.

On August 12, the Belarusian Interior Ministry reported that ‘a group of aggressive citizens with bars in their hands’ attacked police officers in Brest the day before. Warning shots up did not stop them, the officials claim.

“To protect the lives and health of officers, deadly force was used. One of the attackers was wounded,” the statement reads.

However, the family refers to eyewitnesses and says that Henadz Shutau did not attack anyone – he was just walking when someone shot him down from the roof of the building. Belsat got similar information from a number of sources.

Last farewell to Henadz Shutau. Zhabinka, 24 August 2020. Photo: Milana Kharytonava / belsat.eu

Over a hundred persons, including motorheads from several Belarusian clubs, came to say their last goodbye to Henadz, who was a truck driver and motorcyclist.

Last farewell to Henadz Shutau. Zhabinka, 24 August 2020. Photo: Milana Kharytonava / belsat.eu

At 9:40 am, the funeral convoy got off from the house of the deceased and then passed along Lenin, Kirov, Freedom, Komsomolskaya streets. Notably, not a single representative of the local authorities joined the funeral. The ceremony was held in the church of the Protection of the Mother of God.

Last farewell to Henadz Shutau. Zhabinka, 24 August 2020. Photo: Milana Kharytonava / belsat.eu
Last farewell to Henadz Shutau. Zhabinka, 24 August 2020. Photo: Milana Kharytonava / belsat.eu
Last farewell to Henadz Shutau. Zhabinka, 24 August 2020. Photo: Milana Kharytonava / belsat.eu

The family and friends of the deceased keep questioning the official version of his death. Stressing that Henadz was a calm and responsible man, they doubt his participating in protests. Moreover, according to his daughter, he would never have turned against the police.

As reported earlier, there are four other deaths linked to post-election protests (Alyaksandr Taraykouski, Alyaksandr Vikhor and Artsyom Parukou). The body of Kanstantsin Shyshmakou, a member of the precinct commission from Vaukavysk, who refused to sign the final protocol of the election, was also found. The death circumstances are still unknown.

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