“They said it was an overdose”, parents of young man dead in Gomel, Belarus, are seeking witnesses

13 August, 2020, 22:53, TUT.BY

An official claim from the Investigative Committee reports that no visible injuries were found on the body of Aliaksandr Vikhor detained on August 9th. The relatives of the deceased young man request access to his body. Instead they are told that he died from a drug overdose.

The detainment of the Aliaksandr, a Gomel resident, was captured by our photographer.
Photo: Siarhei Kamkou

The young man was detained in Gomel on August 9th while on the way to a date. His family was looking for Aliaksandr for several days, failing to obtain any information. They came to the police station and waited at the pre-trial detention center until late night. Finally, on August 12th, having not found out anything about their son, they filed a missing person report. Only then they learned that their son had already been dead since the day before.

Aliaksandr’s relatives appealed to the public prosecutor’s office and to the Investigative Committee to start a criminal case on the young man’s death. They believe that he was not provided with medical aid in a timely manner and that unlawful actions led to his death.

A representative of the Investigative Committee gave their account of the incident. It was preliminarily established that Aliaksandr Vikhor was detained by the police officers the night of August 9th for active participation in an unsanctioned mass event. Based on the  court order, he was sentenced to 10 days of arrest. The man was sent to the detainment center where his health worsened acutely. The Gomel resident was transferred to a hospital where he passed away. Upon initial inquiry, there were no signs of body injuries that could cause his death, according to the Investigative Committee.

Aliaksandr’s sister Volha is crying on August 13th:

“We called the investigator to ask if there is any progress on the case of Sasha [Aliaksandr] who passed away. ‘He didn’t pass away,’ they corrected us, ‘He died from a drug overdose.’ What? He never even smoked [cigarettes],” she resents. She also wonders how could he possibly get access to drugs when he was under the detention guard for several days before his death.

The relatives have hired a lawyer and intend to follow the investigation closely. They are requesting access to his body.

They are also appealing to the public for any information on Aliaksandr after his detention. What happened in the police trucks when he was transported, in the pre-trial detention center, or other places where he was before his death? Those who have this information are invited to send an e-mail to [email protected] or a message to the Telegram bot @tutby_news_bot. They will be connected with the family.