True Tales of Belarus #4

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Credit: Tut.By via AP

When everything was just getting started back in August of 2020, Maxim Zafranski was one of the first people to take action at the Belarusian State Economic University.

He attended multiple meetings with the university’s principal administrators in order to create a dialogue between students and those in power at the university, but his attempts to do so fell onto deaf ears. They refused to hear him out.

Rather than be complicit to the system, Maxim decided to spark a small grassroots movement within the university, one that he would quite quickly become the face of. He was a star pupil — with a near-perfect class attendance and good grades. …


True Tales of Belarus #3

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Yauhen Yerchak/EPA, via nytimes.com

— Trigger warning: Police brutality, Violence—

Having been delivered to the intensive care unit of the Minsk emergency care hospital on this Wednesday night, 31-year-old Roman Bondarenko died on Thursday evening, 12th of November 2020, due to fatal injuries.

Roman was admitted to the hospital from one of the Minsk police stations, with the officials stating that he was injured during a fight. At the time of admission, he was already in a coma with large cerebral edema, closed head injury, hematomas, bruises and abrasions. …


The True Tales of Belarus #2

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via voanews.com

— 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. …


The True Tales of Belarus #1

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© Natalia Fedosenko/TASS/Getty via Amnesty.org

— Trigger warning: Violence, Sexual assault, Asphyxiation —

It had started to rain, so I opened up my umbrella — one that is red and white. The colors of our Revolution Movement. Suddenly, police vans drove up to us and the “men in black” immediately loaded about thirty-two people into their vans. Near the Sports Palace, we were then transferred into paddy wagons fitted with security cameras.

What happened next turned my whole view on ​​life completely upside-down.

We were taken to the Zavodskoy Police Department where we were forced to stand out in the rain, facing a wall for 10–15 minutes — maybe even longer. Then, soaking wet and cold, we were transferred to the assembly hall where there were many young men, beaten to a bloody pulp. …

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The True Tales of Belarus

True stories of the horrors happening in Belarus — in 2020

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