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Minsk journalist complains about assault and battery in court

124 journalist Pavel Dabravolski has lodged a complaint about the beating by riot policemen in Minsk Frunze Court on January 25. ‘The graffitist’s case’ was being considered there. Activists Pavel Syarhei and Maksim Shytsik were being led out from the court room and hoisted the banners ‘Stop political persecution’ and ‘Art is not a crime!’.

"Having noticed that people with twisted arms were being led out from the court room, I took out my phone and started recording a video. The detained were led to a corridor and I followed them. I was dragged into a room and the door was closed,” quotes Dabravolski. He told the policemen many times that he was a journalist and he was holding his ID in his hands.


There were Shytsik, Syarhei and people in plain clothes in the room, the reporter said. They turned out to be riot policemen. Some of them witnessed against the journalist and activists in court later. The reporter felt that they booted him about a dozen times. “They twisted my arms and one of the policemen put his foot on my face,” Dabravolski said.

He was taken to the police together with the activists and reports were drawn up against them there. Then they were brought back to court and fined. Dabravolski and Shytsik were fined for Br9.45 million and Syarhei – for Br10.5 million. The policemen claimed that the journalist had attacked them and had been swearing. Dabravolski was injured ‘when trying to defend his friends’, the policeman claimed. However, he was not acquainted with the activists, Dabravolski said.

The journalist will document his injuries and complain to court. “Policemen have no right to beat people in a civilized society,” he said.