Artist Ales Pushkin sends hooligans who beat him brutally to church


Artist Ales Pushkin was recently attacked by five drunk young men in his village of Bobr, Krupki district. But when the hooligans were arrested by the police, Pushkin forgave them on condition they would go and pray in a church.  According to the artist, he was seeing off his friend and poet Mikola Alyakhnovich at a local bus stage, when a group of apparently drunk young men attacked them. The hooligans first started beating Alyakhnovich. Pushkin has more details on what happened:

"Siarhei Shynkevich immediately challenged me. He is 21, a resident of Bobr and studies at the police academy. He seemed to be a leader in that group. He asked: Why do speak Belarusian? Do you think you are more bright than others?"

Five men started beating the artist. When he tried to escape, he would always be chased by Aliaksei Birulya, 19 -- the fastest in the group.

Ales Pushkin: "There were 300 meters of chase and beatings until I reashed the nearest shop and called the police. There were neither people nor sreet lights not cars around".

The hooligans were waiting for Pushkin outside of the shop but were eventually held by two police patrols. Two of the hooligans had earlier been convicted and sentenced to forced labor for having beaten a 55-year-old man. When at the police station, the artist told the police officers that it would be good for these boys to come to the church in the morning and repent.

Ales Pushkin: "If they come tomorrow to the church and repent, I will revoke my statement and no criminal case would be opened. I would not want to spoil their biographies, because they are young men and we need young men... Give them chance".

The group of youngsters arrived at the church on Sunday morning accompanied by the police and carried out everything what Pushkin had asked them to do.

There have been cases when victims forgive the perpetrators, but it has been only Pushkin so far to send the hooligans to the church as a punishment.

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