On Friday, By_Pol, a campaign created by opposition-minded people who earlier belonged to Belarusian uniformed services, has made public an audio recording in which a man whose voice bears a strong resemblance to the voice of Deputy Interior Minister Mikalai Karpyankou refers to the instructions allegedly given by Alyaksandr Lukashenka on how to treat protesters and opponents of the regime.
As it follows from the details of the conversation, the recording was made in late October. At the beginning, the persons involved talk about the Russian pistol MP-443 Grach which reportedly entered into service with the Belarusian security forces. Taking into account the sounds in the background, the man holds the gun in his hand and demonstrates how it works. In addition, the same person mentions Alyaksandr Taraykouski who became the first victim amid the crackdown on post-election protests in August:
“Yes, Taraykouski, yes, he was a drunkard and moron. He was snuffed out by a rubber bullet that flew into his chest.”
His death was confirmed by the Belarusian authorities. The Interior Ministry states the man was about to throw an improvised explosive device at the security officers, but it exploded in his hand. In mid August, the Associated Press news agency published a video of Taraykouski’s death. The video shows flashes from law enforcement shots and a man in shorts and a T-shirt with a large bloody stain on his chest. He holds on to the wound with his hand and then falls to the ground. The video clearly shows no explosives in the protester’s hands.
According to the man whose voice is similar to that of Karpyankou, Alyaksandr Lukashenka ordered top police officers to harshly deal with ‘all those moments on the streets’:
“As the president said, if one rushes at you, use weapons, even those non-lethal. [Fire] point-blank aiming at legs, stomach, balls so that he [protester] would realise what he had done when he returned to consciousness. Well, you have the following options: injure, maim, or kill him. Shoot at his forehead, right in the forehead, right in the face: after that, he will never recover.
Well, he might be resuscitated, but there might be only half his brain left – it’ll serve him right, because practically all those who now take to the streets to take part in the ‘rail war’, those who block the roads, attack the police, throw Molotov cocktails are in no way different from terrorists. They are dead weight in our country. And this issue has been widely discussed today, at that small meeting chaired by the head of state.”
The man also announces adding the protesters’ data to a special database that is being created in Belarus.
“Everyone who gets to the base for the second time must remain there. We were told to develop, to set up a camp, well, not for prisoners of war, even not for internees, but a camp where the cockiest [protesters] are to be kept.” According to him, barbed-wire will be ‘along the perimetre’ of such ‘resettlement’ camp, and would-be prisoners should work there.
Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Belarus said he plans to build a camp for people, realizing their constitutional right to protest peacefully against lawlessness. Can you imagine this in your country?
BYPOL initiative shared new information:https://t.co/JO4V08Pxzu pic.twitter.com/nizvw6Ol0t
— Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya (@Tsihanouskaya) January 15, 2021
On September 6, during the dispersal of Sunday’s protest march in Minsk, Mikalai Karpyankou, the then head of the Main Department for Combating Organised Crime and Corruption, was in charge of a group of masked persons hunting for some protesters who found shelter in one of the cafes in Victors’ Avenue. To take them out, he batoned its glass door and destroyed it.
On October 17, Karpyankou said that law enforcers could ‘humanely’ use weapons, including lethal firearms, against the protesters during unauthorised rallies.