People wait for relatives outside prison 24/7

Here’s what happens near the detention center while people inside get abused

DC on Akrestsina. A lot of ambulances. Photo:

According to the official data of the Interior Ministry, 6 thousand people were detained in Belarus in three days of protests. Due to the large number of detainees, not all relatives and friends know where their relatives are. The Interior Ministry proposes to people to call 102 and ask. But the information is not provided in this way. The lists of Viasna human rights center now contain data on 1,500 detainees, but not all of their whereabouts are known. Our correspondent stayed 15 minutes outside the DC in the evening of August 12.. It’s a first-person story:

People are waiting for their relatives at the detention center. Photo:

“Ambulances arrive very often.” In 15 minutes there have been four of them. There are about 20 people on duty near the DC. These are people who are looking for relatives. There are also volunteers who bring food, they are on duty without interruption. People don’t know where their relatives are, they wait. Anastasia, for example, has been waiting for her husband for 4 days. She is sitting on the street, on a plaid blanket. Because some man seems to have been in a cell with her husband.

People coming out of the DC tell others how they have been tortured: they are being put against the wall for many hours, beaten, they are told to ask Lukashenka for forgiveness. The most atrocious thing is when they are beaten on the back in such a way as to make a cross. If a person was carrying something like a sharp object or a firecracker, they are marked separately and beaten most severely.

The cells are overcrowded, 40 people in each. People sit down in turns. There are pregnant women among the detainees. They don’t have enough air. The cops threaten them: if you behave badly, make noise, we will close the hatch completely. People lose consciousness, some vomit.

People are waiting for their relatives near the Akrestsina DC. Photo:

Those who wait outside have almost no information — they just need to wait somewhere, because nobody tells where their relatives are.