European Commission spokesman for international affairs, Peter Stano, referring to the conviction of a journalist and a doctor in the trial of the fatal beating of Raman Bandarenko, estimated that Belarusians “have been denied fundamental freedoms for too long, including freedom of expression and information and the most basic rights”. The convicts contested the version of the authorities that Bandarenka was drunk.
Raman Bandarenka He died on the evening of November 12 last year in a hospital in Minsk as a result of serious injuries. Earlier, in the yard, commonly known as Transformation Square, it was attacked, most likely by plainclothes officers, who cut the white, red and white ribbons hanging on the fence, which were a symbol of resistance against the regime of Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
After the beating, the perpetrators took Bandarenka to a minibus. Then he was to be sent to the police station, and a few hours later to the hospital in critical condition, with serious injuries. Doctors failed to save him.
Sentences were passed on Tuesday in the trial of the brutal beating of Bandarenko. The court in Minsk admitted Belarusian journalist Kaciaryna Barysewicz and doctor Arciom Sarokin are guilty “disclosure of medical secrets”, which was to lead to “increased social tension and the creation of an atmosphere of distrust of state authorities.” Barysewicz was sentenced to six months in a penal colony. The journalist published information that, contrary to the claims of the authorities, Bandaren, who was beaten to death, was not drunk. The anesthetist was suspended for two years.
Belarusians “have been denied basic freedoms for too long”
Peter Stano, spokesman of the European Commission for international affairs, responded to the information from Belarus.
“According to reliable information, Mr. Bandarenka was cowardly beaten to death on November 11, 2020 by persons associated with law enforcement agencies. The perpetrators were not brought to justice,” he wrote in a statement released on Wednesday.
Sano said Belarusians “have been denied fundamental freedoms for too long, including freedom of expression and information, and the most basic rights, such as the right to a transparent and fair trial.”
“These violations are unacceptable and are contrary to Belarus’ international human rights obligations. The EU will continue to support Belarusians in their legitimate demands for democracy and respect for fundamental freedoms,” said the representative of the European Commission.
The Prosecutor General’s Office of Belarus in mid-February – three months after the brutal attack – instituted criminal proceedings for serious injuries to Bandarenko.
Main photo source: / SERGEY DOLZHENKO / EPA / PAP