Mikita Bystryk, an employee of TUT.BY, was detained on August 10 in Minsk near the Stela. After seeing videos of peaceful protests on his phone, riot police took the man and his friends to the paddy wagon.
“They were beating us and saying: ‘Hands behind your head, hands behind your head.’ I simply could not take my hands behind my head out of self-preservation, as I understood that I would now start getting blows here. Before that, I got hit on my hands and not the body. I already understood that either they would make me disabled, or I still had to obey. I removed my hands behind my head. As I thought, it was followed by their boots kicking my left side of the body,”recalls Mikita Bystryk.
We were then taken to the assembly hall of the police station,put into a cell and beaten on the way to the Zhodzia jail. On August 11, Mikita was taken to the hospital. The torture resulted in a broken rib, injured kidneys and three stitches on the head.
“In addition to the fact that physically you have the feeling that they are killing you, but also mentally they are trying to humiliate and break you. That is: you are not human to them. Constant name-calling, verbal abuse. You are nothing to them. You are just a piece of meat that they beat off,” said Mikita Bystryk.
On Sunday, Russian citizen Mikhail Dorozhkin was released from Akrestsin Street. Riot police detained the programmer on August 9 near the railway in Minsk because he was in military boots.
“Personally, I didn’t get a single blow with either a hand or a club. I think I was lucky. Half of the people in all the cells where I was were beaten,” says Mikhail Dorozhkin.
Mikhail’s surname was recorded incorrectly, therefore, when the embassy made inquiries, according to official data, the man was not in the center. For two weeks Mikhail was on the list of the missing persons.
“There were 33 of us. It was quite warm outside, and it was such a steam room. The walls were completely wet, everyone was sweaty, there was no toilet paper or soap, there was nothing, just tap water. There was no hot water, ”recalls Mikhail Dorozhkin.
The Belarusian Helsinki Committee has appealed to the parliament with a proposal to create a commission to study the torture of citizens. The human rights center Viasna has about 450 testimonies of people who were humiliated and tortured by the security forces.