Sunday, July 30, 2006

Torture: It's Fashionable in Belarus, Too

"These claims are bizarre...our police always act within the letter of the law. They are under more supervision than ever due to the world attention on our country these days." -- an unnamed Belarus official

The EUobserver posted an article last night about the increasing use of torture methods by Belarus police to obtain confessions from political prisoners. Here’s a familiar laundry list of methods used by them, as stated by Grodno region police investigator Pavel Melko in a letter addresed to the United Nations and Belarus opposition leader Alexander Milinkevich:

"A standing practice of using torture to extract confessions and evidence exists and is developing...[This includes] electric shock, smothering...poisoning by tear gas and neuro-paralytic agents, battery, straining of tendons, piercing of gums by an awl. Some cannot bear the tortures, faint, try to commit suicide. People, tired from tortures, leap out of the windows."

Political prisoners that have been subjected to these and similar treatments include opposition leader Alexander Kazulin, who was incarcerated earlier this month for five and a half years for "hooliganism". Kazulin’s wife gave her account of the May 25, 2006 incident that took place after the fraudulent Belarus elections:

"My husband walked up to the commanding officer smiling and with flowers in hand. But before he started talking, the officer ordered attack. They knocked my husband off his feet, started beating him up, and then dragged him away...then they started beating up the rest of us."

Does this sound like hooliganism to you? I didn’t think so. As for Mr. Melko, his whereabouts cannot be confirmed. According to the report, Melko may have sent his letter after he left Belarus illegally and may be hiding in Canada.

Click here to read the full text of the article.

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Blogger The Heathlander said...

Flowers? Smiling? How dare he!

Seriously though, another good post broadening my knowledge about this issue. Cheers, robbie!

12:07 AM  
Blogger Dr. Strangelove said...

Whew...just finished a long post. Could not keep it short. Teed up for 2 am.

12:11 AM  
Blogger Dr. Strangelove said...

Hey, looks like we are booked till the end. My job is done! :)

12:12 AM  
Blogger The Heathlander said...

Not quite..I think we finish at 7, no?

12:14 AM  
Blogger Dr. Strangelove said...

No, it should be 6 am. We started at 6 am.

12:15 AM  
Blogger The Heathlander said...

yeh, maybe its the time zones and stuff.

OK this is how I work it out.

For me now, it is 8:11 AM. I started blogging at 2:00 PM, so I should finish at 2:00 PM today. Between now and 2:00PM there need to be twelve more posts (6 hours.

Oh yes, so at your end it finishes at 6. Right.

But still, so far we've got 10 posts booked, and we need 12. Then again, I've got two of Per's saved as drafts...

12:19 AM  
Blogger El Mas Chingón said...

I just finished my 12:30 post and it will provoke your rawest emotions. I guarantee it.

12:23 AM  
Blogger Dr. Strangelove said...

Heathlander, we have 38 posts done as of 12am. You have 10 in the queue. That makes 48 at 6 am :)

Your first post was at 5:56am Saturday.

12:31 AM  
Blogger Dr. Strangelove said...

Robbie, looking forward to it.

12:32 AM  
Blogger The Heathlander said...

Oh yeh, but that one didn't count. For a start, it was pre-written (about 10 minutes before the 'Thon started). That was just an open thread to allow us to talk.

Anyway, I've got enough Drafts to fill us up (and even more than enough), so yeh, effectively, we're full!

12:33 AM  
Blogger Dr. Strangelove said...

Cool, make sure you get 'em in by 6am. We may have to pack two additional into the last hour.

12:36 AM  
Blogger Dr. Strangelove said...


how's the 12:30 coming?

12:41 AM  
Blogger MHB said...

Thanks to everyone for posting. I haven't been able to log in until now... Lots of reading to catch up on!

12:41 AM  
Blogger El Mas Chingón said...

I had problems posting. It's up now.

12:42 AM  
Blogger Dr. Strangelove said...

hey MHB, we have lots for you to read :)

12:44 AM  
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12:31 AM  

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