Source: Viasna Belarus Human Rights Center in English
Dzmitry Serada. Photo: Yauhen Yarchak / tut.by
The Minsk Zavodski District Court has delivered a judgement in favor of Dzmitry Serada and his family in a hearing of a claim seeking compensation for the brutal police raid in their apartment in August 2016. The court ordered the authorities to pay 2,886 rubles (USD 1,380) in damages, including broken doors, windows, and therapy costs.
However, the decision failed to mention the riot policemen as the key perpetrators in the attack. The monetary penalty has been levied on the Ministry of Finance, instead.
Pavel Sapelka, who assisted Serada in filing the claim, calls the ruling a “definite victory.”
“The court heard the arguments of the parties, and, in spite of the defendants’ explanations, it found a violation of the rights of Dzmitry Serada and his family to the inviolability of their home and personal security. The court’s decision lays the foundation for our further action — criminal prosecution of the police officers and riot policemen who used excessive force and handcuffs during the arrest, and demanding compensation for the moral damage caused to his family,” Sapelka said.
On August 4, 2016, Serada’s apartment was raided by masked men who broke the balcony glass doors in the kitchen. The man was pushed with his face to the floor, his arms were twisted and handcuffed.
He was then taken to the police department and beaten in the police bus. Dzmitry was later brought to the Investigation Committee for questioning. He was suspected of committing a non-violent crime. However, the man was left in custody for the night and then held a whole day in the police department. During this time, Dzmitry Serada was never served any meals. He was only released on August 5. After that Dzmitry Serada was diagnosed with mild concussion and contusion of the front abdomen. His daughter had to undergo a medical examination at a psychiatric clinic where the psychologists found that the girl was under stress.
Over the three years since the incident, the authorities have stubbornly refused to properly investigate the police brutality, issuing seven consecutive decisions to reject Serada’s complaints. The probe was once again re-opened on August 21, one day after President Lukashenka’s public criticism of law enforcement’s methods.