Over 30 people brutally detained in Belarus on July 15

Human Rights Centre Viasna reports on detentions in Minsk, Barysau and Hrodna that took place on the evening of July 15.

A huge line to the CEC building formed in Minsk on July 15. Thousands of people wanted to complain about the refusal to register Viktar Babaryka as presidential candidate. After the CEC had finished its work at 19:00, the arrests started. The riot police did not let anybody pass in the direction of the Main Post Office, and then the law enforcers drove people out of Independence Square.

According to the preliminary data of human rights activists, at least 16 journalists were detained in Minsk. Among the detained were Radio Liberty correspondent Anton Trafimovich and BelaPAN journalist Vialeta Sauchyts (both have already been released). Trafimovich had his nose smashed by law enforcers. That’s what he told about his detention to Radio Liberty:

“When I left Myasnikova Street for Niamiha, a minibus stopped near me. About 6-7 people, two in riot police uniform, and the rest in plain clothes ran out. They twisted my hands behind my back, put a hand in my mouth so I wouldn’t scream. They hit me hard on the nose when they detained me. In the minibus, they put me on the floor on my knees, handcuffed me behind my back and kept me head down at all times. I was bleeding, but the police did not respond. I had blood all over the floor underneath me, my clothes were stained with blood too.

Nobody introduced themselves. They didn’t tell me what they were detaining me for. They just threw me in a minibus and took me to a police department. Only there I was allowed to wash my faces from blood. An hour later they let me go”.

At least 15 people were detained in Baarysau. The human rights activists do not specify under what circumstances this happened.

There is also information about one detainee in Hrodna.