Sergey Gonsalis, a man newly-released from the infamous Okrestina detention centre in Minsk, talks about how beating was inflicted on jailed protesters, and they were threatened with death.

Footage from outside Okrestina on Thursday (August 13) also shows the bruising Gonsalis suffered on his legs.

A former detainee on a stretcher is also shown being taken away by an ambulance.

Gonsalis says: “We asked for medical help, but they didn’t let doctors come to us. When doctors came and said, ‘we need to get them to the hospital,’ then police officers answered, ‘No, goodbye. Let them die.’ There were people with diabetes. They poured glucose in detainees’ mouths and told us, ‘You’re going to die here like animals.'”

A man in the crowd asks: “Have you seen any serious cases? Broken bones and anything like that? Maybe someone was about to die?”

Gonsalis replies: “I saw such cases when we were in the Partizanskaya Police Department. They took a man at night and I don’t know what happened to him. But he was almost dead. And until he stopped breathing, they wouldn’t let the ambulance in.”

Another man in the crowd asks: “And what are you gonna do? Will you file a complaint?”

Gonsalis replies: “Sure. Look, I was walking with my friends in the centre of the city. I was forced to sign documents, where it is written that I was walking outside the city, in the forest, and shouted slogans.

“There was an HIV-positive person, but police officers beat everybody with the same baton. They beat him, and when he was almost dead, they called the doctors and said that this person and this one are HIV-positive. Everybody was in his blood. Those who resisted laid in the middle of the room and we were on the side.”

A third man in the crowd asks: “Are there many more people left?”

To which, Gonsalis replies: “Yes, there are 300 people inside, three and four detention facilities were completely filled with people. There are eight rooms on the third floor.

He asks another question: “They let all the girls out?”

“I don’t know. There was one girl yesterday. She shouted very loud and then stopped abruptly. And as to the man who allegedly blew up, there were people who saw riot police shoot at him with rubber bullets,” Gonsalis said.

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