No to militia mayhem!

Palina and Paval Kuryanovich, activists of the civil campaign “European Belarus,” were released on 12 April. Brother and sister were detained at different protests actions. Paval was detained at the picket demanding to stop repressions by Chinese military forces in Tibet, Palina - at the action near the Russian embassy, where young Belarusians came with a poster “No to Russia, yes to European Union!”

Paval got 15 days of arrest, Palina – 10. As it was found out, that militiamen beat the girl during the detention.

“I was guarded to the militia department of the Tsentralny district and was led to a cabinet. I was searched three times. Militia officers Sushchenya and Hryshchenya, whom I knew from my previous detention, were in the cabinet. There were some more people besides them. One of them, a man in civvies, came up to me, pushed me away of my things, and began to shuffle among them. He began to tore my notebook. I asked politely to stop doing it. A militiaman, staying behind me, hit my head against the table (I was sitting on the chair), then they twist my arms, and put handcuffs on me, and made me stay face to the wall. They hit me at my legs, when I was staying.

Then they dragged me along the corridor. It was awfully painful. I asked them to stop, I said I had problems with my right arm, but they didn’t listen. They took the cuffs off only in a cell. I had bruises after beating, and scratches from cuffs…

Militiamen wrote reports at Sushchenya’s dictation. The next day, 8.30am, I got 10 days of arrest. The trial was conducted without a lawyer.

I was in a three-to-four-meter prison cell. I shared it with other people – from 5 to 7. A mentally disordered woman stayed with us for two days. She didn’t let us sleep, shouted, run round the cell. She didn’t realize where she was. Only after two days they guarded her to a mental hospital…” Palina Kuryanovich said in the interview to the Charter’97 press center.

The youth activist is going to appeal to the central prosecutor’s office of Minsk.

Actions against militia mayhem have lately been held in Moscow. This theme is topical both in Russia and in Belarus now. It is apparently not by accident that the heads of these countries are speaking about integration so much, as the regimes of Russia and Belarus are very similar. However, one wishes militiamen obeyed laws and remained militiamen, not outrageous cops, beating up citizens. If such things happened in the European Union, it would go public, and would become a matter of contention in the supervisory authorities, media and even governments. But militiamen in Belarus remain unpunished yet.