UPDATE: The Investigative Committee has responded
19 August 2020, 15:40 | KYKY
Hrodna gynaecologists anonymously speak about women and men admitted to city hospitals who had been raped in custody. Neither doctors nor victims are willing to talk about what happened openly. Doctors testify that some women admitted from the detention centre have been diagnosed with ruptures of the cervix. According to our source, there are men admitted to the proctology department. It is reported that people were raped with objects (likely police truncheons). The doctors add that such injuries can lead to infertility among women.
A few days ago, a Minsk doctor shared the following post on Twitter:
“My friend works as a gynaecologist. One of her clients is a raped woman diagnosed with rupture of the cervix, brought in from Akrescina.
Excuse me, this is so f**ked up I can’t take it anymore.”
After the publication of this article, we have been contacted by a private Minsk clinic which currently „offers free gynaecological and urological help to women who have suffered violence during this difficult time for the entire nation in August”. We hope to learn more details in the coming days.
The BBC has also released a film about doctors and their patients, who were admitted after protests and spending time in detention centres. At 03:35, one of the male patients is heard saying: „They tried to shove a truncheon in between my buttocks.”
„They tried to rape me with a truncheon”: doctors and patients testify about the actions of security services in Belarus.
Doctors and patients of a hospital in Minsk spoke about what they endured and what they were faced with following arrests at the protests.
Also, on 19 August, representatives of the NGO “Radislava”, which deals with issues related to violence, reported that they have evidence supporting claims of violence: “We have evidence from female victims of different age groups, as well as from specialist doctors, who confirm that during this period, law enforcement personnel used various objects to rape and beat them and/or their loved ones.”
„NGO Radislava confirms the testimonies of female victims (of various ages) and specialist doctors (surgeons/gynaecologists) that they and/or their loved ones were raped or beaten with various objects during these days by law enforcement personnel.
We provide counselling to women who have suffered from abuse. If you have suffered physical, sexual (any form) or psychological abuse during a peaceful protest, …”
On 20 August, the Investigative Committee’s official Telegram channel posted an update on the investigation of all rape allegations. The message states that no such cases had been registered.
The Investigative Committee of Belarus
The Investigative Committee is currently investigating the information from a number of Internet sources regarding the alleged rapes of women in temporary detention facilities.
Various Internet websites have published information regarding female patients in Hrodna hospitals claiming to have been victims of sexual violence in temporary detention facilities. Gynaecologists provided this information on condition of anonymity.
We would like to draw your attention to the fact information pertaining to citizens injured during riots and as a result of detention is submitted by medics to regional investigative bodies.
Currently, the investigative bodies are not in possession of any registered reports or statements pertaining to the circumstances covered in the media. In addition, no such information was received from citizens interviewed in connection with the events of 9-12 August, and none of the documents provided by medical establishments contained such information either.
Should citizens submit statements pertaining to these facts, the Investigative Committee will give a legal evaluation.