22 May 2015, Friday, 14:33

“Professional” witness from riot police found in Homel

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Riot police officer Vasili Barysenka attends trials over opposition activists and tells the same story.

Officer of the Homel riot police Vasili Barysenka saw exactly the same incident last month that he had already seen four years ago: Activists were in the street at night “swearing, violating public order and showing disregard to society”.

For example, Homel resident Yury Rubtsou arrived in Homel from Minsk by train at 4:10 a.m. on May 22 and went home from the railway station. Riot policemen caught him up, accused of swearing, took to a police station and made a police report, Viasna human rights centre writes.

Barysenka, a man in police uniform who had detained the activist, said at a trial in Homel's Chyhunachny district court: “I was patrolling streets with Aliaksandr Peniazkou at around 4:10 p.m. We detained Rubtsou in Kisialou Street. He was swearing and didn't react to our remarks.”

As a result, Yury Rubtsou was again thrown into jail after serving a 25-day term in a detention facility, where he had held a hunger strike.

Human rights defender Leanid Sudalenka, who helps to appeal against court decisions, recalled that several activists had earlier been arrested due to false evidence of Barysenka.

On December 19, 2010, the presidential election day, Yury Zakharanka, a representative of presidential candidate Mikalai Statkevich, was heading to the railway station in the morning to attend a rally in Minsk. Riot police officer caught him, accused of swearing and took to a police station. Riot policeman Barysenka said at a trail in the Savetski district court: “At around 5:45 a.m., he [Zakharanka] was swearing at the bus stop 'Starting motor plant' in Barykin Street and didn't react to my remarks.”

The activist was sentenced to 12 days in custody. He went on a hunger strike protesting against police misconduct.

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