“Their legs were broken first and then they were beaten on the head”
One of the emergency hospital doctors talks about protestors beaten on November 8th.
On November 8, more than 1000 Belarusians were detained in Minsk. Media published numerous videos showing people beaten during the detention and tortured in the police department — some stood outside by the wall in the courtyard with their hands up for 8–11 hours. Ambulance doctors anonymously told “Belsat” about things happening in the emergency hospital after the dispersal and detention of the protestors in Minsk.
According to one of the doctors, the victim’s injuries were mostly the same — injured heads, broken legs, arms, and ankles.
“Traumatologists helped us put casts. Protestors had shrapnel displaced fractures, they said at first they were beaten on the legs until broken, so that they couldn’t walk, and then they were beaten on the head,” the doctor says.
Victims told the doctors that they were beaten during the arrest, in police vans and police stations. The ambulance brought people from the Minsk police department. But not everyone could get help.
“The ambulance worker said that there were a lot of beaten people. The security officers only allowed those who could not get up to receive medical help because their legs were broken, they either lost consciousness or kept vomiting due to head injuries. Sometimes doctors were told to bandage people and leave them at the police station. There is no legal rule for doctors to take a person from the police station. They did not allow to take people nor did they allow to examine the victims. They didn’t listen to doctors.”
On November 8, all the guards were in balaclavas and behaved insolently. “For the guards, doctors are not an authority anymore. They looked at us angrily and were rude,” the doctor notes.
On the 8th of November, according to the interlocutor, 15 victims were brought to the emergency hospital, including three girls, two of them were 19–20 years old, and the third one was a little older. They had head injuries as well as bruises on their chests and stomach. “In August I personally witnessed cases when security officials beat women in the abdomen and below, telling them not to give birth to brats. This is genocide — I can’t use any other word!. And here we are seeing the same drubbing.”
Relatives and parents came to see the victims in the hospital. Some started feeling bad when they saw what security officers have done to their children.
“I don’t understand what these officers are trying to achieve. Yesterday parents told me that they would go to the next protest instead of their children. They wouldn’t run away from the policemen and security officers,” one of the people in the hospital said.
“People began to arrive from Okrestina Street at the emergency hospital in the middle of the night,” the doctor says. “The last group of five guys was brought in at 5 ‘clock in the morning. One of the guys’ retina could peel off due to a head injury.”
“These guys arrived without security, so after receiving medical help from the doctors they were able to go home, they were happy to be free.”
Sergei, who also works at the emergency hospital, says he heard from his colleagues that during November 9 many wounded people were brought in for help.
“There were many people and the injuries were serious. Something similar happened in August. Victims with explosive injuries were taken to the military hospital, not the emergency rooms. People had fractures, beaten hands, and broke fingers. Several people had broken legs. Several people were concussed. It can only be compared to August when a lot of people were brought in to both hospitals. Doctors worked without a break examining injuries, putting casts, and stitching wounds,” says Sergei, one of the hospital’s doctors.