“When will they stop beating me?” — 16-Year-Old Belarusian Imprisoned, Brutalized, and Separated from His Parents
— Trigger warning: Under-aged violence, Verbal assault —
The violent treatment of a teenager from Gomel, who has been in prison for three months, hasn’t stopped since the moment he was captured.
Sixteen-year-old Nikita was arrested on August 11 simply for taking part in a protest that had taken place a day earlier on Lenin Square in the city of Gomel, the second-most populous city of Belarus.
The torture began almost immediately.
From the room where he was held, the screams of the teenager could be heard — as well as the sounds of punches and kicks inflicted upon him by his captors. All this violence just because the police officers were trying to find out the password to his phone. From the room he came out with bruises all over his body and with his clothes torn.
During the official interrogation conducted in the presence of a lawyer, Nikita felt sick. He was then taken to the local children’s clinical hospital, and guards were set up near the ward. The parents were not allowed to visit their son.
They appealed to the Investigative Committee with a request to release Nikita on his own recognizance, as they wanted to make the story public. However, instead of releasing the teen, the police took Nikita to a remand prison the very next day where there would be absolutely no access to their son.
Nikita’s father, Mikhail Zolotoryov, stated that during the period of the investigation, his son kept asking when the police would stop beating him.
The father reports that his 16-year-old son suffers from epilepsy and has been complaining of headaches and dizziness for three months, ever since he got detained. Mikhail also claims that the police would usually hit prisoners at the back of the head, which has now aggravated Nikita’s condition.
At one point, when the interrogator had left the cell, one of the policemen guarding Nikita had come up to Mikhail and said:
‘People like you are nothing but scum. We f**ked you, we are f**king you, and we will be f**king you.’
“I’m literally quoting what he said,” said Mikhail.
The teenager has been accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail onto a side-walk during the protest held on August 10th. However, no one has claimed to have been hurt by that action, just as there is still no evidence that the 16-year-old had done it.
Now, the investigators are forcing Nikita to give the names of supposed “coordinators”, in exchange for his release.
This account was translated from Russian to English — edited for clarity.