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Belarusian Teenager Who Claimed Police Brutality Convicted Of Attack On Officer

  • RFE/RL's Belarus Service

Lawyer Viktar Matskevich (left to right), Alyaksandr Kharuta, and his mother, Iryna Makhnach sit in court on October 31.

Lawyer Viktar Matskevich (left to right), Alyaksandr Kharuta, and his mother, Iryna Makhnach sit in court on October 31.

A Belarusian teenager who insists he was beaten by police has been convicted on charges of attacking a police officer and has been sentenced to two years of "freedom limitation," which is similar to a suspended sentence with parole limitations.

The central district court in Minsk announced the ruling against 17-year-old Minsk resident Alyaksandr Kharuta on November 1.

Kharuta testified at the trial that police had detained him and another teenager in July and claimed the two were intoxicated in public.

Kharuta said he and his friend were then beaten by the police officers and taken to a police station, where they were again beaten.

He said police there also threatened to sexually abuse them.

Kharuta admitted punching one of the police officers, but said he did so only after the officer urinated on his face.

Officials charged that Kharuta struck at least one police officer on the head.

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