Black eye and blood on face - photographer's experience


Journalists and activists of the youth affiliate of "Tell the Truth" were detained after a picket near Minsk supermarket "Frunzenski". The detention was brutal, Associated Press reporter Syarhei Hryts told Euroradio.

Syarhei Hryts: "They punched me in the right eye and I was wearing glasses. Then they pushed everyone into the police bus without any explanations. We were delivered to Frunze District Department of the Interior and had to put all our cameras on a table in the assembly hall. We spent about two hours visiting different people there but nobody asked us about anything. We were let off two hours later. All the information has disappeared from our cameras - the flash drives have been formatted."

According to the journalist, activists were going to appeal for an election boycott and treat passers-by to borsch. But the picket did not even start - "Zmena" activists only managed to put out a saucepan with borsch and install an agitation stand. Photographer Uladzimir Hrydzin says that journalists and activists were detained by policemen in plain clothes - he recognized one of the attackers.

Leader of the campaign Uladzimir Nyaklyayeu refutes the fact that activists could take part in an "illegal" picket.

Uladzimir Nyaklyayeu: "The Election Code allows boycotting elections."

Syarhei Hryts left the police office with a black eye and blood on his face. According to him, he is going to register the fact of beating as soon as possible. At the same time, head of the press service of Minsk City Department of the Interior Alyaksandr Lastouski says that journalists were not detained - "their documents and accreditation were checked and they were let off afterwards." Policemen are not commenting on Hryts' black eye.

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