The detained in Minsk Russian journalist: No worse than the Gestapo


Russian correspondent of "Novaya Gazeta" returned from captivity and Minsk today for the first time tells the story of what he saw on the area in a "day of victory" Lukashenko, and how in Belarusian prisons to deal with people.

"Novaya Gazeta in St. Petersburg" Alexander Astafev was not involved in the protest at the square in front of Government House in Minsk on December 19. He was just working: talking to people, as far as it was possible, photographed event. Astafev was in total meat grinder, because, as he explains, the Belarusian security forces brutally dispersing the demonstrators were taken and beaten everybody. The journalist believes that "got off easy", received only a couple of dozen blows with batons. He was captured on the night of December 19 and 20. Almost three days he was held in the Minsk detention center.

Journalist up still does not know why 22 December he was released, and has not completed the examination of the case in court. Before the New Year Astafev was able to return to St. Petersburg for the first time today and talks about what he saw in the square in front of Government House in a "day of victory" Lukashenko, and how prisons in Minsk to deal with people.

Yet in his stories can be judged that the conditions in which today includes dozens of "Decembrists", including — former presidential candidate and the correspondent of "Novaya Gazeta" in Minsk Irina Khalip.

Black night sky above the square, black rows of black pieces in shiny black hats, black high gloss sticks, beaters which beat their shields — driven us into the black interior of paddy. Turn the camera, hiding in the boot flash card, follow the rest of lattice doors to the van. Before you drive a prisoner sticks to the paddy wagon, Special Forces soldiers — three or four on one — regardless of gender or age of the victim with a rookie football player zavzyatastsyu beat highly polished "ankle boots" on his legs, trying to get on the bone. They would be happy to hit higher but hampered shields in their hands.

Van stops. A neighbor looks out the ventilation hatch, "Akrestsin 36, new building! This is better than the old one! In the new — the warmth. " Everyone is starting to call and send SMS, telling about his whereabouts.

We are in the paddy wagon. Hour? Two? Three? Someone makes a list of detainees because relatives about what happened, alert will not, and the use of mobile phones in jail banned. Moreover, the fact that the arrest and detention of protesters in jail will be challenged enforcement officers, as long as the authorities do not decide what to do with them. In these circumstances, any person may at any time simply disappear.

Sit and stand one by one. Sharing food and drink. Thrown aside, peralichvaemsya 67 souls. Stuffy …

"In five people on the way out!" Spotlight in the eye, ragged snow, iron gates, "thorn" in the black fences, black figures — a preliminary search. To complete the image lacks only the dogs.
Black shadows, steps, black door clang of the bolt, dead as dull eyes, the light of the prison corridor, "Put your hands behind your back! Face the wall! Silence! Do not look back! "

Allowed to sit on the stone floor. Someone slips on the wall and falls asleep. But at that very moment: "Stand up! Face the wall! Hands behind your back! "

The person in civilian clothes: a black leather jacket with fur collar expensive, evil baby face, manner of speech and manners yard punks … In the detention center — right at home. The police in his presence shy. Big shot? Sets personal questions. Journalistic "crust" and his Russian citizenship is not a bit confused, "And do not h ..!"

Beyond the threshold jail man behind the deprivation of civil rights and deprived of the right to be human. Even a visit to the toilet — by the grace of "overseer." But the "supervisor" favors depending on it, "overseer" mood. There are no windows — the time of day is determined by the degree of movement in the corridor. Transferred to the third floor: inspection, inventory of personal belongings, drawing up reports, video and photography full-face, profile, and from the back, fingerprinting, the removal of the laces and straps. In the evening you are prepared to submit to the court.

Black inside a paddy wagon. Blue squares in the twilight of lattice windows. "Turn off, blah, phone! Who said that?! "

Palace of Justice: the doors, stairs, corridors, doors, steps, concrete "glass". Camera for the defendants. Deaf iron doors. We have nine people. Zmyashchaemsya just standing. Shyshkavatyya walls smeared with chalk. Heavy air, dim lamp covered perfaravanym a sheet of tin. Cellmate says: "We have been with his father in the square. Gathered home, went to the subway. We were there at the door, and took … knocked to the snow … beat … Then the paddy wagon … Jail … Institute of me now just expelled … but I'm specifically on his father's profile go to learn — it their business. The father hoped that I would help him. Do you think that if they can now take his business? Can … And if you take away everything — I have no regrets! We did the right thing. I am glad that my father and I went out together in the area. It is correct to … Right … "

Cause one by one. Have to respond butting the door, or can not hear.

The judge, summing up, looking past — she has read out the indictment, "was", "shouting", "do not obey." A secretary with an injured sea clasped hands and writes nothing. They do not care what you say, they are professionals, they are not interested in the initiative.
The case was sent back for revision. Light from 10 to 15 days. On the judgment form writing: "I declare a hunger strike! Received a copy of the record. " Tomorrow I learn from "advanced" protocol, which is an area I screamed "Down!".

An elderly companion in a paddy — the road from the court to jail, "release me immediately! I have awarded a penalty! You do not have the right to I long to keep under lock and key! "" Grandma! Talk like a human! I do not know what you were talking about! "-" No! That you tell me how to! Do you think I do not understand! Vypustsi! This I tell you! The parasite is! "

In the compartment for up to eleven people, under the jokes we pushed twenty six. On those at the bottom, lie and sit in twos and threes. Oxygen is a minute or two ends. We are suffocating. Someone starts klyavstrafobii attack.

How it lasted ten minutes, twenty, half an hour? I do not know what made them open the door and let us in the air — anything, just not our cries.

Water ran out. With a net of mercy we are allowed to have snow. If there are no plastic bottles, drink have no more than visit the restroom — two to three times a day. Profitable to go on hunger strike. The only problem — to explain to people in uniform who laugh in response that you seriously. Humor of the situation is that no one is not going to feed. We are not yet on the balance sheet — "landing" there is no space.

In the sparse light spot near the closed doors of prison two stubby ranks of the prisoners swaying against assaults from the wind. It seems to be arrested, not really make out — dark and blizzard. Near spacious bus SWAT — emits a soft light salty warmth and comfort. In the middle of this luxury, lounging in an easy chair, with appetite bites fighter. We tovpimsya at the door of a paddy wagon, our guard, Private Interior Ministry of the Republic of Belarus, with quiet envy and some glancing warily toward spetsnazavskaga
Eden and grumbles into the phone: "No. Did not need to warm up. Today, it will not come. <…> Yes, all the enemies of the people of toil, the second day because of them nor eat nor sleep … "

By morning, "occupy" in jail. Of beds and blankets less than the guests. Who are situated as on benches on the tables, according to four twin beds. But neither this nor intrusive light does not interfere with the long-awaited dream. Long sleep is not necessary: a few times a night by the clank latches and locks us will lift on his feet for a census, for the roll call. Face serious prison guards and full awareness of the importance of these actions.

At six in the morning — Anthem of Belarus (aka — the anthem of the Byelorussian SSR). Sleep no more give. Tap — hlyaravanay water from the loudspeaker — Lukashenko victory speech. When does an editorial about the achievements of the republic, with a screech and vuhkannem opens the door: "Stand up! On the way out one by one! "

The next day, similar to the previous one: "Facing the Wall", "With things on the way out!" Road to court. Second hearing ends in the same way as the first: "The matter is returned to the Soviet police department for revision." The only difference is that now I have one. All my cellmates "condemned" on the first try — from 6 to 15 days in jail.

Day ends with the police department. Men in civilian clothes. Interrogation. Back to jail. Night in solitary confinement. In the morning — again, the Palace of Justice. There, instead of the third hearing, I suddenly return personal belongings and passports, are imported to the railway station and report that I'm free …

Freedom. Station. The camera and flash drive with a report in front of me. It would seem that the point! But I put a comma in the story, because the candles — dozens, hundreds of candles — about the iron gate jail offer hope that soon our comrades — Belarusians and Russian — will be released, and I'll take this exit. Me just lacks a real photo.

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