CASE #476
09 / 08 / 2020 – 12 / 08 / 2020
Homyel / Gomel
  • Detention Centre Personnel
  • Special Purpose Police Unit OMON
  • Undefined
Type of violation
  • Arbitrary or unlawful arrest and/or detention
  • Beating
  • Cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
  • Denial of appropriate conditions of detention
  • Denial of legal rights of arrested persons
  • Deprivation of medical attention
  • Murder
  • Physical abuse
  • Torture (psychological)
  • Use of excessive force
International classification of violations
  • Prohibition of torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
  • Right to fair trial (procedural violations)
  • Right to freedom of peaceful assembly
  • Right to liberty and security of person
  • Right to Life
  • Violation of rights of detained or imprisoned persons

Time: -

Place/Location: at the trolley-bus #20 stop near the crossroads of Pracoŭnaja vulica and Savieckaja vulica

Identity of the victim(s): Aleksandr Vihor (Аляксандр Віхор)

Identity of the perpetrator(s): undefined

At 00:08, the video shows how three officers in balaclavas and black uniforms with the words "OMON" on their backs forcibly detained Aleksandr Vihor, who was sitting on the ground and did not resist the arrest. They twisted his hands behind his back and carried him away.

This photo was probably taken shortly before the video above (it is closer to the crossroad and on the video, officers carried Aleksandr away from the crossroad, passing the public transport stop) Alexander was sitting on the ground, three riot police officers were standing over him in an attempt to detain him.

When Aleksandr, with other detainees, was being taken to the Zheleznodorozhny District Department of Internal Affairs of Gomel, the victim started to become delirious, talking to people who were not around. In the gymnasium of the District Department, he got worse - he was disoriented in place and space, calling for help.

Witnesses testified that Alexander felt bad from the moment of his arrest, he asked for help. But in response, he received numerous blows from the security forces. Other detainees also asked for help, but no one responded. When his condition worsened, the police sprayed Alexander with pepper gas. Surveillance cameras at the Zheleznodorozhny District Department of Internal Affairs, footage from which could prove that Aleksandr was beaten, for some reason did not work.

When Alexander was taken to the detention centre, he began to be delirious, he called his mother, father, grandmother, asking for help.During the night of 11-12 August 2020,Aleksandr was taken to the psychiatric hospital where his condition deteriorated further. After the police finally allowed to call an ambulance for him, the doctors immediately determined that the problem was not caused by drugs, but by oxygen starvation. Doctors from the ambulance determined that Alexander had a third-degree coma, and took him to the intensive care unit of the tuberculosis hospital - which is next to the psychiatric one. It was too late, Aleksandr died. 

In the materials of the investigation of the Investigative Committee, there is a video that was filmed by the police themselves. Aleksandr's mother saw it: “This is the worst video of my life - watching your son die. He was sitting in handcuffs on the concrete floor, he had convulsions… He had eyes like a dog's … He looked at the policemen and thought that there were people around him who would help him. Then he lay on the floor in convulsions, and they filmed and accompanied him with mocking comments” says the mother in her interview with Radio Freedom.

After the arrest and subsequent death of Alexander, the officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus for many months continued to spread false information that the victim was in a state of drug intoxication, trying in this way to explain the deterioration of physical sucking and death. In the official materials of the case, the examination showed that no traces of drugs were found in the victim's blood.

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