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Belarusian Activist Forced To Strip By Police, Calls Experience Case Of 'Torture'


Alesya Yasyuk

Alesya Yasyuk

Alesya Yasyuk, an activist of the opposition Belarusian Social Democratic Party, complained to RFE/RL's Belarus Service on July 7 that the previous day she was subject to a brutal and humiliating treatment by police in Minsk.

Yasyuk, who lives in Barysau, a city some 60 kilometers east of the Belarusian capital, was arrested in Minsk on June 6 by police officers who found in her bag several stickers calling for a boycott of parliamentary elections due in September.

Yasyuk was taken to a police station where she was stripped naked by a female police officer, while two male officers filmed with a video camera. Yasyuk demanded that the cameramen leave the room, but no one heeded her. On the contrary, the police officers reportedly threatened to take her to a prison and put her into a cell with vagrants.

Yasyuk spent six hours at the police station and was released without any formal paperwork. She told RFE/RL that she was in a state of shock and called what happened to her at the police station a case of "torture."

Opposition activist Mikola Statkevich told RFE/RL that this year he was subjected several times to the same procedure following his detention during a protest in Minsk.

"I have an impression that the authorities came to the conclusion that the previous level of repression was insufficient and they decided to raise it," Statkevich said. "Therefore, they try to add psychological torture. So they will continue to strip people naked."

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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