Minsk actress beaten on New Year’s day. Investigators shelve police abuse case?

Illustrative photo

A Minsk actress is crying for justice after a riot policeman repeatedly batoned her in the head.

A month ago Svyatlana Sakalouskaya (it is her stage name) celebrated New Year’s Eve at her mother’s place in Chyzhouka residential area. Her injured hand fully recovered, but a bruise on the head remains. However, the girl cannot buy into the idea that her New Year celebration resulted in a brain concussion.

Four young persons, who were beaten and intimidated, have been silent for a month. Only now one of them decided to talk to journalists.

“I very much hope that my appeal to mass media will get things moving,” Svyatlana says.

After the bells chimed, the girl and her friends went for a walk. However, riot policemen did not let them come closer to the Christmas tree in Chyzhouka. According to them, the New Year concert was almost over. When one of the girls started to complain, they dragged her into a minibus. Svyatlana ran after them; one of the riot policemen intentionally slammed the door and her hand got jammed. As a result, one of her nails was torn out. Then she was batoned in the head.

“I did not have any contact with this riot policeman. Why he hit me is still a mystery,” she stresses.

Svyatlana consulted a doctor. On January 1, having left the hospital, she reported the situation to the police. However, the Investigative Committee was very slow to okay the procedure of verifying battery-induced injuries. It took Svyatlana 5 days to get a corresponding document. And the professional conclusion has still not been issued to Svyatlana.

“A swollen finger, a bruise on my head… After the incident I could see poking out of the finger! But five days later, when I was having my injuries verified, of course, the situation improved,” she said.

According to human rights activist Andrey Bandarenka, Svyatlana’s experience is nothing but police abuse. By the moment, the girl has failed to restore justice: the Investigative Committee extended the probe into the incident for another month.

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