“When hearing he was Ukraine’s citizen, they started to batter him.’ What happening in Minsk detention centre

Policemen are severely beating detainees; no exception is made for journalists or citizens of other countries, Belsat cameraman Uladzimir Luniou says.

A few days ago, he was detained near Pushkinskaya metro station and taken to the detention centre in Akrestsin Street.

“I thought they would not dare to touch media workers. But they beat everyone – women, children and pressmen. We were put to paddy wagons and driven to Akrestsin Street, where they treated people with extreme atrocity.

People were routinely beaten; the impression was that the policemen wanted to make them lose a taste for protesting. Every 30 minutes they brought a new group of people, and we heard them being beaten in the hallway. There was chaos around, blood, people were screaming and begging not to batter them, but no one listened.”

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According to Uladzimir Luniou, it was barbarous to treat detainees in that manner. But it was the Ukrainian citizen who faced particularly cruel treatment.

“As soon as the officer heard that he was a citizen of Ukraine, they took him to a fence and started immercifully beating.

To survive, I did not reveal where what mesia outlet I was cooperating with. I said that my friend had given a PRESS vest to me. I realised they could crush me to death under that fence.

I saw that the detention centre got packed. People have to stand on feet all day long. They stood next to each other, there was no place to sit. Some fell down. Some were getting sick, they shouted: ‘Call an ambulance’. Jailers did not provide us with any water or food.”

Hundreds of Belarusians, as well as citizens of Russia and Ukraine, are now awaiting trial in Belarusian detentio facilities.

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