Belarus protesters unmask police to expose 'planned & intentional torture'

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The Sun1.08M
Published on 17 Sep 2020, 10:47
Riot police and assorted thugs loyal to Belarusian president's regime have been given carte blanche by Alexander Lukashenk to harass, assault and arrest peaceful protesters amid the the uprising against the 'rigged election' that put him in power for a sixth term.

Protesters have said Lukashenko’s men are now acting with 'ruthlessness impunity' yet they, have a vulnerable point: their faces. Grab at the mask of a policeman and he will run for cover.

Torture remains rife against protesters held in police stations across Belarus, where authorities have failed to open investigations and are threatening victims with reprisals, human rights experts said.

Some 7,000 protesters have been detained since President Alexander Lukashenko retained power after a disputed presidential election on Aug. 9, the groups said. At least 58 "political prisoners" remain in custody, The World Organization against Torture (OMCT), a Geneva-based watchdog, and the Human Rights Centre Viasna, based in Minsk, said.

More than 500 people have provided testimonies of torture, which may be "only the tip of the iceberg", Gerald Staberock, OMCT secretary-general, told Reuters Television.

"The key issue here is that what we have seen after the election unfolding is systematic, planned and intentional torture, used by the State," Staberock said.

"So, we are not talking about the bad apple in the system, but we see clear evidence of a planned and organized type of violence, a policy of cruelty, you could call it". he said.

The OMCT urged the U.N. Human Rights Council to set up robust monitoring of the crisis at its urgent debate set for Friday (September 18).

"I think it is clear, especially since this is allowed to happen with impunity that the line of responsibility, legally speaking goes up to the highest level of government," Staberock said, warning that torture could "traumatise" the Belarusian society in the long term.

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