Minsk police accuse battered Belsat TV cameraman of disobedience

Election observer Andrus Kozel refused to stop filming during the counting of votes , Minsk police state.

As reported earlier, Belsat TV cameraman Andrus Kozel was severely beaten by police while observing the election process at one of Minsk polling stations. The policemen broke the glass in the door to the polling station with Andrus’ head when they were detaining him, his colleague saw him bleeding.

“Taking a video, the citizen [Kozel] referred to his working for a foreign media outlet which is not accredited in the Republic of Belarus. In order to prevent unlawful acts, the chairman of the commission reported to the police officers who were on duty at the polling station,” the official statement reads.

According to the police, as Andrus Kozel ‘ignored their demands, offered resistance to a police officer, grabbed the officer by his uniform’, they decided to use force against him. Notably, the journalist said he had been punched in the head four times. The report also notes that he ‘damaged a glass door with his foot’.

Andrus Kozel spent a night in the predetention centre; he is expected to stand trial on Monday.

18,110 deputies were elected to the local councils of Belarus on February, 18. Early voting kicked off in Belarus on February, 13. There might have been many rigged votes and violations from Tuesday till Saturday, independent observers warn.