Beaten and abducted by masked men: Minsker Raman Bandarenka dies in hospital

Raman Bandarenka.

On November 11, masked men battered Minsk resident Raman Bandarenka.

UPD (8 pm Minsk time). The man has died in the intensive care unit of the emergency care hospital in Minsk.

On Wednesday evening, plainclothes people arrived at the popular offstreet yard known as ‘Square of Change’ and started to remove white and red ribbons, which aroused the local residents’ indignation. A fight broke out; Bandarenka was put into a van and driven in an unknown direction (video below: TG @motolko help).

Notably, he was taken to the neurosurgery unit from Tsentralny district police department where he spent about two hours.

According to the doctors, Bandarenka was in ‘extremely critical condition’. He was diagnosed with closed craniocerebral injury, acute subdural head hematomas, brain haemorrhage. The man slipped into a coma, his relative told Belsat TV. Some doctors speaking on condition of anonymity have confirmed that the patient was beaten by pro-government forces.

When reached by journalists, Raman’s mother declined to comment on the situation.

Raman Bandarenka lived in one of the blocks of flats not far from the improvised Square of Change in Charvyakou Street. Previously, the man served with the internal troops in the so-called spetsnaz unit 3214. Until now, he was the director at one of the Cleanness Island shops. Raman was an artist by training; he liked to teach local children to paint.

“Yesterday Raman Bandarenka was beaten up in the Square of Change. Now he is in hospital, his condition is grave. He has very severe head injuries and cerebral edema. After all that has been done to him, Roman may die. All of us hope for the best. But we realise that his blood is on the hands of the regime which is trying to save itself at the cost of the lives of Belarusians,” opposition politician Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya said on Thursday.

In turn, the Belarusian Interior Ministry says that the policemen found ‘a 31-year-old citizen who got injuries in a fight’ and law enforcement officers called an ambulance.

“The man has been hospitalised. The conflict is known to have started over the white-red-white ribbons that were hanged in the yard. A check into this fact in underway,” the statement reads.

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