Association for International Aid and Support for Belarus

FOR STIKING WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES, SUPPORT IS A NECESSITY

  • Peaceful protests

    Two presidential candidates are in prison, another two - left the country under the pressure

    On the 9th, elections were held in Belarus, almost immediately the official mass media give completely implausible figures. Allegedly, more than 80% of citizens voted for Lukashenka, who has been in power for 26 years. Mass demonstrations begin in the country, completely peaceful protests against the obviously falsified results. But this time, the protests are accompanied by an absolutely unprecedented level of violence from the security forces and KGB.
  • FOR STIKING WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES, SUPPORT IS A NECESSITY

    OVER 1000 people got unlawfuly fired within the first weeks of strike

    The people of Belarus peacefully protest against the rigging of elections, and in return receive blows with rubber truncheons, stun grenades, gas and wounds from plastic bullets ...

Vadim, 28, Grodno

I work as a taxi driver in Grodno. On August 12, I gave a ride to a man. At one point we stopped at an intersection where a women's solidarity action was taking place nearby. People walked slowly along the pedestrian crossing and a small traffic jam formed. All the drivers honked, and I honked several times. 

When I finally started moving, suddenly, on the left side of my car, a car of the Minsk traffic police cut off. An inspector ran out of the car and demanded to get out of the car, but did not show the documents. He furiously began banging his baton on the glass of the car. Then he tried to open the car doors while repeating “Come on, come out!”. My passenger and I were scared and afraid to get out of the car. One of the inspectors suggested to the other to call the OMON. In 10 minutes OMON came up to my car. 

The passenger opened the window and was told that if we did not get out of the car, then a grenade would be thrown at us. I got out of the car and my keys were taken from me. The riot police took me to the paddy wagon, which was in the courtyards. There I was thrown to the floor and ordered to crawl forward. The soldiers began to ask me: “Are you having a bad life? Don't you like Belarus? " I lay in silence. They started beating me with truncheons on the back and back of my body. I lay there and did not resist. There were about 10 riot police in the paddy wagon, and I was beaten by four or five people. Then they abandoned another man who constantly argued with the fighters. They didn't like it and they switched to it. They began to beat him especially severely. Although I periodically got it while we were driving. 

On the way to the department, another man came to us. When we arrived, two were taken out of the car, and I was ordered to crawl to the exit, and while I was crawling they continued to beat me. We were all taken to a garage box, where we were ordered to lie down. Hands were supposed to be behind the back, and feet were shoulder width apart. In the garage they continued to beat everyone. The riot police gave each of us nicknames. They contemptuously called me "vinegar" and the other man "DJ." They beat us for about 20 minutes. Then the riot police left. We were left to guard the military and the police. They didn't touch us. Later they brought another man, he was told to just lie down and not be afraid, he would be released. We lay on the floor all the time. Finally, an inspector came up to us with the minutes, which indicated that I had violated the administrative code. They made me sign all the papers. It was scary to object, afraid that they would start beating again. After signing all the papers, I was again ordered to lie on the floor. But it was already evening and everyone was cold. 

Many of the detainees were released in the evening. There are only five of us left. Since the OMON had already left, the military allowed us to sit on the floor. When we asked for a drink, they brought it to us. 

Later, at about 12 am, we were taken to a room with a wooden floor and left there until morning. But there already no one gave water, and they were allowed to go to the toilet the next day at 10 am. 

In the morning I was summoned and told that I was being transferred to the temporary detention facility awaiting trial. There were already 5 people in the cell. There were three bunk metal beds, a toilet, a washbasin, a narrow table, and a couple of cabinets hung on the wall. There was stale air in the room, as those who were there smoked. I stood and talked to those who were there and suddenly I passed out. Those who were with me put me on the bed and started calling the duty officer and knocking on the door. 

The medics carried me out of the cell into the corridor. While they were taking my blood and doing a cardiogram, the policeman told the doctors that if I fake, then they need to bring me back and they will "arrange a fun life for me." They called an ambulance for me and took me to hospital No. 2 for examination. There they made me a CT scan of the brain, an X-ray of the abdominal cavity, an X-ray of the pelvis. Based on the results, it was decided to admit me to the hospital. The accompanying policeman was given a certificate and he left. 

I was transferred to the children's hospital, as there were patients with COVID in hospital No. 2. I was diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, and bruises on my shoulders and buttocks were also recorded. Currently, 

I am injected with painkillers every day, it’s hard for me to walk, my whole body hurts. An investigator comes to me and records my testimony. Appointed forensic examination. Under the articles that are charged to me, I am threatened with deprivation of rights for two years, although I believe that I have not violated anything, and I was also beaten. Law enforcement agencies are trying to deprive me of my earnings.
Vadim
Vadim
Vadim
Vadim

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Aleksey, 31, Grodno

I'm Alex. I am 31 years old. I live and work in a taxi service in Grodno. On the evening of August 11, I finished work, as there were few orders and decided to go with friends to rest. It was already dark.

Leaving the courtyard, I saw that the "riot police" was coming to us. I decided to stop the car on the left to make way for him. But at that moment someone started hitting the rear window, then the car windows. I didn't understand what was going on. I got scared and decided to turn onto the street of the Soviet border guards, and then turned right onto Popova street. They detained me there. I hardly remember the moment of detention. I remember how my friends and I got out of the car and put our face on the asphalt.

They twisted their arms back and began to beat me severely. They beat me with truncheons and ankle boots. Most of the blows were in the face. People passing by offered to call an ambulance, but the riot police said that they would do without doctors.

Later, someone who was older in rank came and only then they called for me a party of doctors. I was taken to the emergency hospital, and later to the children's hospital for an MRI. There they assigned a guard to me. For several days he was with me in the ward. I was handcuffed to a radiator and released only to the toilet and procedures.

During the operation, I was also handcuffed. I have a lot of final diagnoses. Among them are numerous fractures, bruises, hematomas. Back in the hospital, I learned that a criminal case had been opened against me. He is suspected of violence or threat of violence against a police officer. However, during the arrest, I offered no resistance.
Aleksey
Aleksey
Aleksey
Aleksey

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Andrey, 37, Minsk

My name is Andrey. On August 10, around 9 pm, I walked along Nemiga avenue, returning home. There was a white bandage on my wrist - the sign of those, who supports freedom and fair elections in Belarus.

Probably because of it, they took me to the paddy wagon, which was slowly moving along the road. They beat my legs and buttocks. Then they took me to a paddy wagon and threw me on the floor. There they continued to beat me on the legs and back. After that, I was roughly shoved into a cell, where there was already one person.

We rode around Minsk for a long time and gradually added people to us. By the end of the “journey” there were already 6 of us. I thought they would bring us to the police department, but they took us to "Akrestsino" jail. It was already a night time. It was not clear what time was it. I heard dogs barking. When they were dropping us out of the paddy wagon, we walked past the riot policemen in a bent state with our arms behind and they continued to beat us, including on the head. You can't raise your head, they beat you harder. They took all our personal belongings from us, asked to sign on paper, which was impossible to read.

Our group was placed in front of the walking chamber, facing the wall, and they began to beat and insult again. Later they took everyone to the cell, there were still not so many people and we were lucky with the weather: it was warm and there was no rain.

About an hour later, we were taken to the patio, where we had to run in a circle face down, with our hands behind our backs. The guards stood in a circle and continued to beat everyone. Those who fell were beaten harder. Later, in the same place, they began to interrogate us and record our data. Then they took me into a walking cell, where there was nothing to sit.

I was there for a day. There were 64 of us at first, later we were condensed and 11 more people were added . During the whole time we were not fed. They gave a small square of bread to a person with diabetes. When the guards changed, more loyal people came. They let us to go to the toilet and gave us some water to drink. Before that, they gave a 1.5 liters bottle of water for 75 people.

A volunteer's parcel with two bottles of water and birch sap was also allowed for a person who had diabetes mellitus, which he shared with everyone. A day later, I was transferred to another walking cell (they are made for a prisoners to walk in - there is no ceiling in them), where there were already about 80 people and absolutely no beds or at least a one chair. It was difficult to sleep on the concrete floor. My legs hurt a lot because of the beatings.

Since I have epilepsy, at some point I started having an attack. When I came to my senses a little, they gave me more documents to sign and put me in an ambulance. I was taken to hospital #10. Only there I got the help I needed.

Last Monday I went to get things. I was afraid to go, but still decided. Thanks to the volunteers who found me on the lists themselves and helped me to find my belongings. There I met a man who helped me during a seizure in a cell, since his sister has the same illness. It was him who shoved my shoe between my teeth and pulled out my tongue, also he demanded to call an ambulance for me. He took me out of the cell and demanded to call an ambulance from the local doctor and chief. Thus, he saved my life.`
Andrey
Andrey
Andrey
Andrey

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Maxim, 31, Minsk

My friend Andrei and I were detained on the evening of August 11 not far from the Yubileinaya hotel at the moment when we were returning home from a bike ride. The riot police in bulletproof vests quickly threw their bicycles into the paddy wagon, and they twisted our arms back, shouting: Lie down! Face down! After that they threw us into a paddy wagon, where other riot policemen "accepted" us. Here they began to beat us at once. I can't say that they beat me very hard. After all, I understand how they can beat if they wanted to beat us harder: I've seen enough on the video how people were beaten in the last days.

The blows inflicted on us were clearly not made at full strength. After that, our belongings and phones were taken away from us. In Andrey's phone, among other things, they saw videos from the Internet from peaceful demonstrations. This caused additional aggression among the OMON fighters. After we were "shoved" into cells, into the so-called narrow "glasses" located on both sides of the paddy wagon. One could only stand in them, it was very stuffy and there was simply nothing to breathe.

Upon arrival at the Leninskoe district police department, they immediately began to beat us right at the exit from the paddy wagon. They shouted at us to lower our heads, and I accidentally, not seeing anything in front of me, took a step to the side, and immediately blows with a truncheon flew at me. They immediately pointed to me as the main instigator, and accordingly they began to beat me harder. Why did they decide that I am the coordinator? I do not know. Perhaps because I am tall and sturdier than my friend and the two other men in our paddy wagon. In the courtyard of the police, all the detainees were put facing the wall, forced to spread their legs wide apart, and began to beat. They beat me severely, with frenzy, aggression, with whatever they had to do: with their hands, feet, clubs. The blows were applied to the back, legs, buttocks. Striking blows, the "men in black" shouted: "If you want a country for life, we will arrange it for you! For twenty dollars, protesting?" It was pointless to persuade them. Perhaps their bosses tell them so that people really go out to peaceful demonstrations for money.

Already after one man became ill, he was breathing heavily, and an ambulance was called for him. I realized that the riot police are actually afraid that someone might die here. Or perhaps I came across such.

At night, all the people were placed in two technical boxes, similar to garages, measuring about 8 by 4 meters. The premises were warm, ventilation was working. Here we spent the whole night with a coupler on our hands, which made our hands completely numb. They put my friend in one box, and me in the second. Basically, we stood all the time, we managed to sit down only in the morning. People continued to arrive all night. By morning, I counted about 35-40 people in my garage. Basically, there were men in the boxes, but in the box where I was there were 4 women: 2 young women and a mother and daughter. People were different: mostly young people, but there were people over forty and over fifty, there was even a very old man. With me in boxing was the head of tribuna.com Maxim Berezinsky (he, as I read in the news after, was released the next day). There were both students and people from Serebryanka, there were active protests there that evening. Many of the detainees had blood on their faces and bodies, it is evident that they were detained harshly, with aggression and the use of force.

The stories of detentions are completely different, people began to share them later. Someone was dragged right out of the car, severely beaten, and then brought here. They even detained builders from Pinsk and Luninets who came to work in Minsk to do the reconstruction of a building in the center of Minsk. The riot police took them right in the passage at the railway station. There was a man whose wife died, and he cremated her that day, and after that in the evening he drank with friends and just returned home. This is the last thing he remembers. His head was broken and his face was red with blood on one side. Many were depressed, considering all the beatings, all this brutality and aggression of the security forces, and people also did not know what else to expect.

We were guarded in turn by militiamen, many of whom were quite adequate people, they certainly did not commit atrocities like riot police, they responded to requests. True, there were those who were negatively disposed towards the detainees. In general, everyone was allowed to go to the toilet on request, they drank water from bottles, there was no food.

With the onset of the morning, the police called an ambulance for the three victims, who were feeling very bad. My leg continued to hurt badly due to blows with a truncheon and legs, and I asked the police officer to see a doctor. I didn’t even hope that the doctors could pick us up. I asked to examine my leg, because it was very painful and swollen, I hoped that at least they would bandage it for me. And the doctor, after the examination, told the police that he was taking the examined with serious injuries to the hospital. Already in the ambulance outside the ROVD, I realized that she did it on purpose, tried to save us in this way, and I am grateful to her for that.

We were traveling in an ambulance, and I heard what the doctors were saying about OMON. They despise him, to put it mildly. First of all, because the riot police shoot at people, beat them, so mercilessly and brutally maim. Also, doctors are outraged that riot policemen are rumored to be paid a lot of money for these "hot days". Already in the emergency room at the traumatology department, another young doctor told me what kind of beaten people were brought to them, showed terrible photos of wounds. According to the doctor, iron nerves are needed to calmly look at all this.
Maxim
Maxim
Maxim
Maxim

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Stanislav, 25, Minsk

My name is Stanislav (name changed at the request of the victim). I am 25 years old. On August 9, on election day, at about 11 pm I went out to express my disagreement with the election results. I was near the memorial “Stele. Minsk is a hero city ”. We all went to a peaceful protest to show how many of us really are who voted for a new life. I was at the very stele at the top of the steps at first. I saw at the crossroads at the bottom of the OMON, which stood in a chain. There were no explosions or shots at once. Nobody provoked them.

I decided to go downstairs and take photos and videos of what was happening. People did not expect that they would start using special means against unarmed people. After taking photos and videos, I decided to go back. When I took the first step on the step, a grenade exploded at my feet. I went blind. My ears were ringing. I was afraid to take a step, since I could not see anything. At this time, other grenades exploded under my feet. I just felt a burning sensation in the whole body. I tried to walk, but I was afraid. Grenades exploded around, shots were heard. I only thought that I was going to die. At some point it was over, I was already at the top of the stairs. I stood for two minutes in one place, because I could not see anything. There was a hum and a squeak in my head...

When my vision returned, I saw people, I saw that they were gesturing, but I hardly heard any sounds. Everything floated in my eyes. It lasted a few minutes, but an hour passed for me. At some point, my friend grabbed me by the arm and began to lead me away from there. At first, I hardly heard or saw anything. Sometimes, through ringing in my ears, I heard the words: “Now, now. We will call an ambulance."

I lowered my eyes and I saw my hand. More precisely, they were naked muscles with black fragments inside. Blood ran down my arm. The white ribbon on my arm gradually turned red. I felt a burning sensation in my neck. My friend said there was a splinter in his neck. We entered the courtyard of the house and entered one of the open entrances. My friend called the doctors.

A girl came out to us, she brought us water and asked what had happened. We waited for an ambulance for 15 minutes. Then I was taken to the hospital. Did the operation. At 2 am I was already in the hospital ward. According to the doctor, the wound I received on my neck could have been fatal for me if I received it 2 cm to the left. I was lucky, but I realized this later.

At about 5 am a senior investigator of the Zavodskoy District Department of Internal Affairs came to my hospital ward. He began the conversation with the threat of imprisonment from 8 to 15 years. He accused me of organizing mass riots, put pressure on me and nervously wrote something down. They confiscated my things and my phone.

After the hospital, I started a different life. They began to summon me for interrogations. They threatened me, called and demanded a password from the phone, but I answered that I did not remember. The investigators, having learned that I work at Belgazprombank (the former manager of this bank was one of the presidential candidates, and now he is in the KGB prison), they intensified their threats. I was afraid to go to interrogations. I always warned my friends and relatives that I was going to the ROVD. I lived in fear that they would come for me. I was afraid to go outside. The sounds of approaching cars frightened. Frequent phone calls from the investigator were also frightening. To get rid of my fears at least a little, I turned for psychological help.

On October 1, I went to Poland on a humanitarian visa. Now I have to start all over again. The old life and work remained in Belarus. Now I am in a refugee camp. The scars and burns on the body will heal, but it’s impossible to forget what happened. For ethical reasons, we cannot publish a photo of the victim.
Stanislav
Stanislav
Stanislav
Stanislav

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Vasily, 33, Molodechno

I, Vasily. I am 33 years old. On August 10, in the town of Molodechno, I took part in a peaceful protest against the rigging of the presidential elections. However, a large number of security officials were against us. Force began to be used against civilians, including women, the elderly. Everyone was seized and dragged to paddy wagons. I was brought to the regional department of internal affairs. Then, for some unknown reason, everyone in the paddy wagon was taken to the building of the Molodechno District Executive Committee. OMON was waiting for us there. I was transferred to another car, where I was beaten on the floor with a truncheon while being transported to the ROVD building.

We spent about 5 hours in this position. The police officers beat and insulted us all this time. Towards the morning of August 11, 44 people were interrogated, including me. Personal items (phones, backpacks, watches, belts, laces, etc.) were confiscated from us. We placed in the walking yard of the temporary detention center. Since the cells were overcrowded, we spent about 1.5 days in the yard without food and without medical assistance.

After 7 days of arrest, all people under arrest were released for reasons unknown to all. During my release at the checkpoint at the ROVD, the investigator gave me signe a paper exactly the same as that of the prosecutor. Already after I was released from the ROVD, a few days later I was summoned to the Investigative Committee of Molodechno to give testimony, and in the same place, my phone was again seized, which is a subject of personal use and with personal information. From that moment on, persecutions and threats began, in connection with which I was forced to leave Belarus.

Now I am in a refugee camp in Lithuania.

MAKE A DONATION

 By doing something good every day, helping those in need, we make our world a little better, a little kinder and happier. And the feeling of belonging to great happiness is dearer than anything else in the world. 

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Association for International Aid and Support for Belarus. 

Föreningen för internationellt bistånd och stöd till Belarus . Organisationsnummer 802532-2994

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