Hrodna: Protester’s release from jail turns into chase

After Syarhei Verameyenka, a resident of Hrodna, had served 15 days fo participating in protest rallies, plainclothes police forcibly put him in the car and drove away to an undisclosed location.

Syarhei managed to call for help – his friends were waiting for hime at the police station.

“I wanted to jump out of the car and opened the door at the next junction, but a police officer pushed me back,” Syarhei recalls.

A real chase started; having covered several kilometres, the police dropped Verameyenka off at the city clinic.

Police lawlessness also in Brest

Dzyanis Maruk, the editor of the news portal Real Brest, was beaten right in the police office. According to Dzyanis, law enforces took offense because he had showed a middle finger to a cameraman in civvies during one of the ‘non-parasite’ marches in Brest. Moreover, as the man refuse to give his memory card to the policemen, they started to batter him.

“It’s horrible what was happening there, in the police office. They had me headbutted the wall – I have bumps on the head, they punched me in the face, then they facedowned and kicked me in the kidney area,” Dzyanis states.

The Brest police did not let Natallya Papkova go free easily as well. The activist was forcibly taken to a mental hospital for another psychiatric assessment. For Natallya, it was the second mandatory mental examination. In February, Natallya Papkova had to spend three days in Brest mental hospital, where she went on hunger strike. The doctors failed to make any diagnosis.

Trials across the country

In Maladzechna, human rights activist Eduard Balanchuk and independent trade union representative Ruslan Kisyalou were sentenced for participation in a ‘non-parasite’ protest action – they will have to sent 15 and 10 days in jail, respectively.

In Minsk, former political prisoner Mikalai Dzyadok was sentenced to 10 days of arrest for participating in Freedom Day celebration. Riot policemen, who were witnessing in court, lost themselves in their own testimony, but judge Nevmyarzhytski believed them.

Before the trial, Dzyadok was in hospital as he got a concussion during a brutal detention. In the van the riot policemen hit them in the head with their fists.

Police raining on parade

In Zhodzina, seven activists detained in Minsk on March 15 were released on Wednesday. They were not allowed to go out to friends and family, but taken to a remote railway station.

“They must have not wanted the released to be met by many people, that is why we have been driven here,” says Maryna Dubina, a member of Green Network.

In Mahiliou, the organizers of protests against ‘parasite’ law walked free on Wednesday, too.

The next rallies against the tax on ‘spongers’ will be held in May.

In February-March, there has been an eruption of protesting the so-called ‘parasite’ law in Belarus. Hundreds Belarusians were detained, fined, jailed after recent non-parasite marches. Most of them were accused of violating the order of holding mass events and disobedience to police officers’ demands. It should be noted that plainclothes policemen who refuse to show their IDs a or introduce themselves often beat people and prevented journalists from performing their professional duties.