Belsat TV operator released, his case sent back for further inquiry

Андрэй Козел вызвалены, яго справу адправілі на дапрацоўку
Andrei Kozel prior to the hearing in a Minsk court on 19 February. Image: Euroradio

Freelance journalist Andrei Kozel on Monday was released in court while his case was sent back for further inquiry. He was detained in the evening of 18 February at the polling station No 27 in Minsk where he acted as an election observer and was making a video shoot of the vote count. The young man was beaten and spent the night in a pre-trial detention center. Today, he revealed the details of his beating: “One of the police officers threw me towards the door. While falling I hit the glass with my head or shoulder. Afterwards, I received three knocks on my head, ribs and kidneys. I was refused medical assistance while in custody…” The police claim that the observer "was actively disobeying the police", smashed the door himself and then fell down and "self-inflicted injuries." A hematoma could be seen on Andrei's head when in court. He also complained about feeling sick.

Eventually, the judge ruled to send the case back for finalization. Andrei Kozel was released in court. He is charged with "resisting legitimate demands from an official on duty."