Analytical note

This analytical note was prepared on the basis of data, obtained 3 January through 5 January 2011 from 73 individuals, which include 61 questionnaires, filled in with their own hand, and personal interviews of 12 detainees.

  1. Law-enforcement bodies actions at the Independence square and in some other Minsk districts
    1. The majority of interviewees witnessed the application of force on behalf of riot police officers while detaining people.
    2. Special tools (truncheons) were also applied to the interviewed participants of the public meeting.
    3. Some interviewees were random pedestrians and did not take part in the public meeting.
  2. Conditions of detainees transportation
    1. As some interviewees witnessed, the density in special vehicles, which belong to Ministry of the Interior of Republic of Belarus, amounted to 70 people (while maximum number of seating places is around 30)
    2. One interviewee claimed, that the density in one vehicle (analogy of minibuses) amounted to 71 person.
    3. As the majority of interviewees stated, detainees were prevented from using bathrooms (at the exception of the detainees in one special police vehicle).
    4. Almost all of interviewees claimed, that the police refused water to detainees.
    5. It took from 2 to 3 hours to transport detainees.
  3. Conditions in detention centers
    1. Detention center in Okrestina St.
      1. The interviewed detainees were kept in special police vehicles from 40 minutes to 3 hours.
      2. After being kept in special police vehicles interviewees were compelled to stay outside for 30-40 minutes.
      3. As the majority of the interviewed stated, detainees were not allowed to use the bathroom (except the detainees, kept in one of the special police vehicles) for about 9 hours.
      4. As all interviewees witness, they were all made to stand, facing the wall of the corridor and holding their hands behind their backs, for 2-3 hours. After that they were allowed to sit on the floor.
      5. minimum 3 hours later, detainees were taken for the formal procedures in groups, there they sat or lay on the floor, waiting for the formal procedures. Meanwhile, as some of the interviewed witnessed, riot police officers kicked some of the detainees, who were lying on the floor, in the faces, while passing them by.
      6. Formal procedures regarding a part of the detainees were started 12 hours after the detention (the bulk of detention episodes took place, as interviewees witnessed, from 22.00 till 02.00), and all this time detainees were deprived of sleep.
      7. Any kind of food or water was not provided to the detainees, with an episodic exception (two interviews show that after trials in one of the police special vehicles riot police officers at their own initiative provided the arrested with food), and it was first time provided more than 30 hours after the detention.
      8. At detainees' disposal was water from the bathroom tub only 8 hours later they had been transported to the place.
      9. Relatives were not informed by the authorities about detentions.
    2. In local Minsk police stations
      1. As interviewees state, treatment on behalf of police officers was generally better, than the one on behalf of riot police officers, though several witnesses claim there were some instances of battery in Oktyabrskoye local police station.
      2. At the same time the arrested witnessed, that students were questioned by presumably KGB officers, who compelled them to read out loud the prepared text to be video recorded at risk of being expelled from higher institutions.
      3. In Oktyabrskoye local police station the under-aged female detainee was threatened by drowning in the toilet bowl and battering, and her requests not to smoke addressed to the police officers, were ignored.
  4. Conditions of transportation to the courts, detention in court
    1. During transportation detainees to court the density, according to the respondents mentioned this fact, clearly exceeds the allowable (two seats for six people)
    2. In court buildings detainees were held up to 8 persons in rooms designed for two or three people
  5. Trial
    1. Almost all respondents witnessed that the materials of administrative cases were prepared in an identical manner without taking into account the actual circumstances of detention.
    2. The state attorney has not been provided in most cases when the interviewed detainees asked for his involvement in the process, the refusal to admit a lawyer hired by relatives of the detained is also fixed.
    3. Witnesses for the defense was not interrogated according to all respondents.
    4. According to all respondents, the duration of the trials did not exceed 10-15 minutes, and the position of defense consistently wasn't take into account.
    5. Procedure for appealing the court decisions was clarified not always or not completely (the obligation to pay the state fee not always was clarified, the opportunity to pay for it wasn't given, the opportunity to apply for exemption from payment was not explained).
    6. Copies of court decisions, according to the majority of respondents, were given at the end of the period of administrative detention (ie, upon the expiration for appeal), but in the Moscow district court of Minsk copies of court decisions were usually given after a judicial act.
    7. In Zhodino Detention centre paper for making complaints were given on the 4 th day or after five days (the period of appeal is five days after the announcement of a judicial act), and the state attorney for the drafting of complaints was not provided.
    8. In all recorded cases (except in cases of administrative offenses against the citizens of Russia), when complaints about judicial decisions were made, these complaints were not considered.
  6. Transportation to Detention centres.
    1. According to some respondents, the riot police officers, who were bringing prisoners to the Zhodino detention centre, beat at the entrance to the special police vehicle and also at exit from it.
    2. According to one of the arrested, he witnessed the beating of the arrested by riot police officers for the purpose of forcing him to sing the song "Sanya will be with us".
  7. Detention
    1. General
      1. Drinking water was not provided
      2. Law quality of food service, some respondents reported diarrheas among arrested
      3. Qualified medical assistance was not always provided.
      4. Beddings (mattresses, blankets, bed linen) were given not always.
    2. Zhodino detention centre
      1. According to all respondents, the temperature was acceptable, but it was close.
      2. Toiletries were not given
      3. According to many respondents, there were insects in cells (cockroaches).
      4. Not all respondents were taken out for walks and those who were taken - only once every 2-3 days for 15-30 minutes in the courtyard 5*4 meters or in the corridor.
      5. In Zhodzino fluorescent lights were turned off at night, a weaker bulb was switched on.
      6. Toilet in the part of cells consisted of a toilet bowl with a high barrier, in part - a hole in the floor with a low wall (no higher than 1 m)
    3. Detention centre in Minsk district police station
      1. According to the respondents, arrested people during the first 3-4 days they were kept in cold, unheated cell, they were forced to sleep in outerwear
      2. At night the light wasn't switched off.
      3. According to one of the respondents provided food was cold, the first two days breakfast wasn't provided and was given only after statements about hunger strike
      4. Walkings were once a day for 15 minutes
      5. Parcels were delivered not in full, there were refusal to transfer food.
      6. Toilet was a hole in the floor with a low barrier.
    4. Detention centre at Okrestino St.
      1. Beddings were given not allways, even if they were given, it happened on the 3-5th day.
      2. Nobody was taken for a walk.
      3. Part of respondents witnessed that arrested were held in the cold, unheated cells.
      4. Access to the shower was given only 1-2 times (evidence is recorded that access to the shower was given only after the collective complaint), for one of the respondent it was provided only after 8-9 days.
      5. Food in parcels was transferred not always and not earlier than 25.12.2010г.
    5. Placement center for under age
      1. Detained girl was hold until the evening 20.12.2010 in a cold, unheated room.
      2. Bedding were not given, detained was forced to sleep on the floor.
      3. Access to the shower was not provided.
      4. Detainees were denied in access to toiletries.
      5. Relatives of detained girl weren't informed.


Conclusions from the analyzed information

  1. Most of the respondents suffered some form of violence;
  2. Conditions of transportation and detention are described by all interviewed detainees or arrested people as inhuman and degrading human dignity treatment;
  3. Trials of all interviewed detainees did not meet the criteria of a fair trial and are characterized by clearly accusatory bias.

© 2010 Международное Молодежное Правозащитное Движение