Anarchist Nikolai Dedka was interrogated in the Minsk city court – he pleaded not guilty and told in detail how after his arrest he was tortured by the employees of the GUBOPiK. Mediazona cites Dedko’s speech with minor abbreviations.
In 2008, he received a secondary specialized legal education, graduating from the Law College of the Belarusian State University with a degree in Jurisprudence. He worked as a bailiff in the court of the Central District of the city of Minsk, as a legal adviser in a private firm. After his release in 2015, he graduated from the European Humanities University with a degree in World Politics and Economics.
I have been participating in the anarchist movement for many years. His blog was on Telegram and other social networks, where he analyzed political events in the country and the world, talked about the struggle for his civil rights, about anarchism. Since June 2020, he lived in the village of Sosnovy, Osipovichi district, so as not to be in Minsk, where at that time there were mass arrests of political activists.
With regard to the charges under Article 361 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus. By posting articles and comments on the Mikola telegram channel , I exercised my right to freedom of expression. I have never called for violent action against anyone and have stressed all the time that I am a supporter of nonviolent resistance. I believe that the entire accusation is framed in a manipulative formulation. The UK regarded my actions as a threat to national security, understanding the interests of the ruling class by national security. However, the interests of Belarus and the interests of the ruling elite are not the same thing.
It follows from the accusation that [urging to fight for] my civil rights, I called for the destruction of Belarus and created a threat to people. This is a lie and a substitution of concepts. I was also accused of “spreading the ideology of extremism,” while no economic theory, no textbook knows such an ideology. The Constitution of the Republic of Belarus guarantees a person, a citizen, the right to disseminate any political views and adhere to any ideology. Within the framework of Article 361, I was accused of the fact that my actions could lead to a threat to the life and health of people. Firstly, there is not a single proof that my posts endangered someone’s life and health. Secondly, the law expressly prohibits building an accusation on assumptions and probability.
With regard to the charges under Article 342. I did not attend the numerous marches that took place in Minsk for three months, as I was afraid that I would be detained and would not be able to conduct my telegram channel. On my birthday, August 23rd, I decided to make an exception, indeed. I did not have any plan involving disturbance of public order. I made the decision to attend the march spontaneously, I came there alone. I did not observe any police officers who would interfere with the procession and talk about the violation of public order, I found them only later, in my photographs.
I did not block the work of transport, because at the moment when I went out onto the roadway, it was already filled with people for several hundred meters in both directions. The police did not receive any statements from dissatisfied citizens, which I personally would interfere with, to my address. None of the people I met there showed signs of displeasure. Moreover, dozens of citizens were leaning out of balconies and windows, showing the V sign and waving white-red-white flags. The procession was dominated by an atmosphere of universal unity, enthusiasm and friendship, so the words that by my presence I quote: exacerbated tension in society, violated the social foundations of decency and the inner peace of citizens – this is a lie. On the contrary, in my entire life I have not seen so many respectable citizens in one place.
With regard to charges under Article 295-3. I insist that the GUBOPiK officers threw bottles with a mixture of gasoline and engine oil [during the arrest]. The indicated bottles were found in a cabinet under the windowsill in the kitchen. When I lived in this apartment, I repeatedly looked into this closet – they were not there. This means that the possibility that these bottles belong to the previous owner is excluded.
“These bottles were thrown at me.”
When the SOBR and GUBOPiK officers broke into the apartment, they put me face down on the floor, immediately began beating me, asking where else the cameras were hanging in the house. The fact is that on the balcony of the apartment where I lived there is a dummy of a video camera left by the previous owner. I have repeatedly said that there are no cameras. Some of the employees, as I understood from the conversation, fled to other rooms, where they did something for about a minute. Then they began to beat me, demanding passwords from my phone and laptop. But I’ll talk about this later.
When the attesting witnesses came and the official search began, I was immediately taken to the kitchen, where, in front of my eyes, the GUBOP officer took out from the cabinet two bottles of yellow liquid, one of which was already on the table. At first I did not understand what kind of bottles they were, until I felt a sharp smell of gasoline and saw a piece of cloth on top of one of them. I immediately said that it was not mine and they threw it to me, to which the GUBOP officers grinned.
Three or four hours later, after several hours of torture, an employee of the GUBOPiK Ivan Aleksandrovich Tarasik, when I was lying in handcuffs on the floor of the office, gave me bottles, began to stick the neck of the bottle into my mouth, after that he spat, then he gave the bottles to me. hands and demanded that I squeeze them. And so with every bottle.
Then they were individually packed in black bags, as if for trash. <nrzb> The fact that the examination did not find my biological traces, I can only explain that the GUBOPiK employees, knowing that I complained about torture and falsification of evidence, influenced the results of the examination in order to make me a liar.
I think they believed that even without my traces, they would convict me under 295-3. The fact that these bottles were thrown to me is confirmed by many logical inconsistencies.
Firstly, the investigation did not establish how, when and under what circumstances I allegedly made these bottles and mixture. I am not a motorist, no gasoline was found in my house. If I typed it at a gas station, where is the data from the CCTV cameras? Secondly, if I made these bottles, then gloves should have remained, since there are no marks, and there are traces of fuels and lubricants on my clothes. There is none of this.
Thirdly, it is unclear where and how Molotov cocktails can be used in the village of Sosnovy in the Osipovichi district. In the village there are no administrative buildings, police stations and other objects of interest to the revolutionary. It is absurd to take them to Minsk by public transport, since they give off a sharp smell of gasoline. Fourth, again, the bottles were found in the kitchen wrapped in my kitchen towels. At the same time, the stench from the bottles was very strong, which was noted even by the attesting witnesses. It’s not clear why keep a gasoline source where you cook and eat?
From this conclusion: the bottles were thrown at me by the employees of GUBOPiK. First they made sure that there were no guards in the house, then, making sure that I was lying face down on the floor and could not see anything, they put the bottles in the cabinet. As we were in a hurry, we put the bottles in the first place that seemed appropriate. To avoid leaving fingerprints, they wrapped [the bottles] with tea towels that were lying on the windowsill. And then they defiantly got it out in the presence of attesting witnesses.
I believe that the staff pursued two goals. The first is to insure myself with another accusation, if I suddenly, by some miracle, will be acquitted on other charges. The second is to create the right picture for management and gossms. Since all my activities have been public and open since my release in 2015, I made a blog on my own behalf, without hiding, arresting for him could look like a persecution for freedom of speech. But to show that the extremist keeps Molotov houses, is invested in the state picture.
Detention. “Now let’s go to the Gestapo, there you will cry”
I would also like to tell you about my detention, as it is of key importance for understanding the meaning of this criminal process. On 11/11/2020, officers of punitive structures broke into my apartment, including through the balcony. Between the first knock on the door and the moment I was thrown to the floor, no more than five or six seconds passed, I only had time to close the laptop lid and get up. I showed no resistance.
The officers threw me to the floor and handcuffed me behind my back, this happened at about 22:20. In total, seven employees broke into the apartment: four in civilian clothes, three in ammunition. They started beating me right away and asked if there were CCTV cameras in the apartment. Then they began to inspect the premises – I understood this by the steps. I did not see what they were doing, because I was lying face down on the floor and they beat me for trying to move.
I believe that it was at these moments that the employees put in the Molotov cocktails. Then an employee came up to me, squatted down next to me and said: “Do you understand that you won’t get out of the punishment cell?”.
From the table. They immediately took my equipment from the table, began to demand a password – first from a mobile phone. I refused, and then officers in ammunition began to beat me in the face with their fists. I started screaming, and then one of the employees tore off the pillow from the sofa and squeezed my head into it. I felt that I could not breathe, tried to shout that I would say the password, but they did not hear.
They kept my head in the pillow for a while. When they took my head off, I said that I needed time to remember the password, since I forgot it because of the stress. Then they continued to beat me. I remembered the password after about a minute. After I spoke, they laid me face down on the floor and did not beat me for a while. The SOBR officers were mostly silent, the GUBOPiK employees made mocking comments and insulted. As I understand it, the goal was as much as possible. They said: “Think, what are you? You gavary, INTO tsisk is psychalgic and physical. Sennya u tsyabe budze and psychalgic, and physical. What, Mikola, do you think you are shy? Can you tsyabe abastsats? “
An employee of the GUBOPiK <nrzb> took a bank card from my bedside table, began to poke it in my face and say: “Everything is in the state’s income.” [He said:] “Let’s take you to the forest, undress and see how you satisfy women or you can only with your tongue. Now let’s go to the Gestapo, there you will cry and hate yourself. ” As I understand it, the officers called the building on Revolutsionnaya, 3 among themselves, “Gestapo”. At the same time, they constantly insulted me, kicked me on the thighs. Soon the officers lifted me up, forbade me to look at myself, beat me if I raised my head.
They said that now they would bring attesting witnesses and there would be a search. If I scream or complain, they will beat and mock me all the way to Minsk. And if I remain silent, then we will go normally.
Two employees left and returned with two retirees whom I recognized as my neighbors. In the presence of attesting witnesses, they began to lead me through the rooms. The hands were all the time in handcuffs from behind, and they were tied with such force that <nrzb>. When we entered the room where the girl used to live, the employee began to take women’s dresses, apply them to me and ask: “Is this not yours?” The rest of the staff laughed.
We went to the kitchen last. When I entered, there was already a bottle of yellow liquid on the table. I said that it was not mine, and then the officers began to seek support from attesting witnesses, asking if they had seen how the bottles were delivered. They said they saw. The attesting witnesses were also asked whether they could smell petroleum products. They said they felt. Even in the presence of attesting witnesses, they said that they would beat me. The intelligible did not react in any way and pretended not to notice it. When they turned away, the employee tried to hit me on the sly.
In general, the search was carried out superficially, rather for the sake of appearance. It was clear that the interest was only <imp>. I want to refute the words of the understood that I denied the belonging of things – this is not true. I immediately said that the money and the camera were mine. Among the things laid out on the sofa were a camera, a tripod and a wristwatch. Later I did not find all this in the inventory of confiscated items, the landlady of the apartment also did not find it. Also, looking at the nightstand at that moment, I did not see the wallet, which contained about a thousand rubles. I believe that the camera, a tripod, a watch and a thousand rubles were stolen by the employees of the GUBOPiK, taking advantage of the fact that I did not see anything most of the time, as I was lying face down on the floor. Secondly, he was disoriented and could not carefully read the list of the confiscated items. You can complain about this to the GUSB of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus.
Dedok says that after counting the money, the employees put him on the floor, spreading money nearby, a hunting knife and the thrown Moltov cocktails – “and filmed it all on a smartphone.”
When the attesting witnesses were allowed in, it was about 00:30. They put me facing the wall. I asked why you need to beat me. Alexa replied that they do not need me, since I am a waste material. [An employee surnamed] Tarasik replied: “To get moral satisfaction.” They continued to beat me from time to time, hitting my head, back, legs and chest. As I understand it, Tarasik had to constantly keep me in suspense so that I did not know where and in what place the next blow would be delivered and could not relax for a second.
Shooting. “We will record this video – with or without pain”
The staff moved to the end of the large room. One colleague took me into the corridor so that I would not hear what they were conferring about. In general, from the moment of the arrest, the plainclothes officers constantly called somewhere and reported to their superiors. Especially Alex, who never let go of the phone.
After conferring, I was returned to the room, where Alexa said that I now need to say to the camera what they will say. Added: “We will record this video – with or without pain.” Then he punched me in the chest. I hit the wall and fell. He asked if I would speak on the video. I was silent. When a young employee took me into the closet – a room about a meter by half – he let in tear gas and a spray can and propped the door with him. I felt that I could not breathe, I said that I would say everything I need to say.
Then the same officer took me outside with the SOBR. At the same time, another employee of the GUBOPiK stood in the yard and filmed [me on video]. But he immediately said that he needed to make a second take. Then they returned me to the staircase, <nrzb>, wringing my arms harder – so that my body was practically upside down.
But the same young employee took out the pepper spray again and began to spray it in my face, trying to get into my eyes. He did it four times. He stood so close that I could feel the spray of pepper spray through my eyelid or eyeball if I didn’t have time to close my eyes. After I was returned to the apartment, they did not touch me for a while, about a minute. As I understand it, waiting for the maximum effect from the pepper bottle. Then the officer, whom the “investigator” introduced me, said that if I say everything correctly, they will give me a wash. I told them everything that was required of me.
At the same time, Alex was filmed with a smartphone. Then they gave me a wash, unbuttoning one handcuffs bracelet. While I was washing, a young employee behind me was cracking a stun gun. He asked if I know what a “disco” is. This is when a detainee is shocked into handcuffs.
In GUBOPiK. “Kolya, it will hurt now”
Then one bracelet was unfastened. They gave me to pack and get dressed. And they were not allowed to take the watch with them. As I said above, they were not found anywhere at all.
I dressed, they didn’t beat me, but they insulted and mocked me. Leaving the apartment, one of the staff invited me to take a sandwich with me. I refused: there was no appetite from stress. Opening the refrigerator, he was surprised that I had little food there.
After I was driven in a minibus, which was parked in the yard. There I was put on the floor and taken to the police station. They didn’t beat me on the way. The staff tried to enter into a political discussion with me. In particular, the young employee said that “you are activists, bloggers, you yourself create an unstable situation in the country, and then you complain that you are beaten and arrested.” The rest said that the people of Belarus were divided and that the majority voted for Lukashenka.
When they dropped me off, I saw Revolutionary Street, the GUBOPiK building, where they brought me, bending my head and putting a hood on it. It was about 01:30 am. They took me to the office, which is located in the right corridor, if you stand with your back to the main entrance. The fourth office from the beginning of the corridor on the right side. They put me on my knees facing the wall and asked for the password from the hard drive. I said the password for the operating system. They said that he was not suitable. The employee said: “Kolya, now it will hurt.”
After some time, I asked to go to the toilet, the SOBR officers took me. After that we returned to another office: the third from the beginning of the corridor on its right side.
Probably Tarasik’s office – I made a conclusion from the location of his desk. Apart from Tarasik, there were three more employees, all at their desks. The employee with my laptop was sitting closer to the entrance. He also gave the command when to beat me and when to stop. The employees of the GUBOP SOBRA were released home.
All those present were wearing masks and tried very hard not to let me see their faces, even when they were wearing masks. They laid me face down on the floor. An officer entered the room. I was asked for the password from the hard drive. I said I don’t remember. Then they kicked me. The employee in black, who was called Gena among themselves, is most likely an assumed name. They beat me on the calves, thighs, buttocks, back and arms.
After several refusals, Tarasik said that they would beat me on the genitals and rape me with a truncheon. They threatened to hit me with an electric shock, they said that they would urinate on me. In the intervals between approaches, a third employee periodically beat him. After four or five beatings, I gave them the hard drive password by writing it down on a piece of paper. But the computer technician entered it incorrectly [and they began to beat me]. Since one hand was unfastened, I tried to hide with it and several fingers were beaten off to me. The officer in black lifted my head and began [hitting her]. And so several times, until the computer technician entered the password correctly.
All the time from the beginning of the beatings, I screamed violently. At some point, from the dialogues of the employees, I realized that someone from the outside had looked into the office with complaints or questions about the screams. I believe it was a sentry, since I did not see anyone else in the building. Tarasik sent him obscenely and said, quote: “If this good man comes again, I will beat him myself.” [Said] in an obscene manner.
After they got access to the laptop, they began to require a double authentication password from a bank card. I didn’t remember it by heart, so I had to specify the path to the file where it was recorded. During this time, I was beaten several more times. I noticed that they changed their tactics. First they beat me up, and then immediately asked questions. When they beat me, I tried to dodge. Therefore, at some point, Tarasik began to step on my face with his foot and only then beat me so that I dodged less.
When they got access to my account, they began to talk out loud how to dispose of my telegram channel. They asked when my comrades would raise a kipish about my absence. The geek said that he would write to my girlfriend that everything was fine with me. Later I found out that I really did it.
In between, I was beaten just like that. For example, Tarasik, after they brought him the brewed noodles, said that we would now finish the Rollton and I would beat you. Obscene.
I tried to hit the same place, many times, to make it more painful. After another beatings, Tarasik said that he was already tired. And with the words “Old age is not a joy” I sat down at my workplace. The rest of the staff laughed.
They also threatened me that if I did not say what was required, then by six in the morning other officers of the GUBOP would come and everyone would beat me in turn. I again asked why they were beating me if I had given the required information. To which Tarasik replied: “For what you are.” After that, Tarasik brought the bottles that had been thrown into my apartment and began to put the neck of the bottle in my mouth. At first I did not understand what he was doing, and then he said to spit on the neck and put the bottles to my palms. Then it dawned on me that this was being done for fingerprint examination. He did this in turn with each bottle. I no longer resisted. Then every bottle he <inrzb>.
“If you open your mouth to the employees, I will come to the zone and end you with this baton.”
Meanwhile, another employee continued to work with my telegram. I asked about people from my contact list and about the administrators of other channels, as well as who of the current employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs helps me and who finances the protest actions.
They asked why I published the data of the police officers. I said to provoke public condemnation. Then the three of us started beating me.
Then they lifted me up and told me to sign a paper printed by one of the employees. I signed everything without looking. Meanwhile, others continued to scoff. “Let’s piss him off”, “Well, Mikola, do you want to stream?”. Tarasik suggested: “Let me sit on it, and you will take a picture.” But the others did not support such a proposal.
Then they put me at the red-green flag and told me to apologize to the employees for sharing the data and advise others to do so. Tarasik said: “If you say everything correctly, I will not beat you any more.”
The employee in black said, “I am not responsible for myself.” Immediately Tarasik began to demand that, in addition to apologizing, I should say to the camera that I was “a schmuck and a condom.”
The judge intervenes in Dedko’s story, to which he notices that he is only quoting “what happened.”
I didn’t say that. The same young officer who was at the arrest was filming me. Tarasik also wanted me to cry on the video. He said: “Let go of a tear, otherwise we will release it now.” I didn’t cry. Already [later I found out] that this video was shown on BT as proof that I repent of my anarchist activities.
Immediately after the shooting, the young employee suggested: “Let’s take the flag from the door and burn it in the yard.” Let’s rewind time in his smartphone and take it off. As I understand it, to add one more article to me. The others laughed and did not accept the offer.
They put me on the floor again to conduct a preventive conversation: so I realized that the torture was most likely over. They demanded from me that I gave my word of honor that I would never write again or say anything bad about the employees of GUBOPiK. Then I was told that if I tell or complain about what happened to me here, they will come to me in the temporary detention facility and everything that happened will seem like a trifle to me. I agreed with everything.
The officers said that there would be no life here, I had to leave the country, they said that I would get 7-9 years – and then if I cooperate with the investigation. And if I complain and talk about what happened here, then there will be article 411 in the colony, that I will be a rooster in the zone, that I will not live in the colony at all.
Tarasik said: “There are convicts in the colony who cooperate with us. But what am I telling you, you were sitting, you know everything yourself. If you once again open your mouth to the employees, I will come to the zone and personally end you with this baton, and then drown you in a parache. End of quote.
“You made the wrong people your enemies, it’s useless to fight us.” End of quote. Tarasik said that I would not get out of prison, I would die there. Another employee objected to him: “Why? Will serve time and be released. ” So they argued for a while. Then they asked me what I would say about the beatings in the IVS. I said, “I’ll say I fell.” They told me “Right.”
I was taken from the office to the courtyard. They stopped beating – only a couple of times they hit their head on the door. They put me in a car and drove to Akrestsin Street. As soon as I got into the car, I began to shake violently. The young employee, who was sitting to my right, started shouting at me so that I would not vomit the car, and began to ask what was wrong with me. “They’re mandingo, don’t you see,” said another employee.
I asked to re-unfasten my handcuffs in front, they re-unfastened. The clock on the car dashboard read 05:24. The employee who was at the wheel once again reminded me to be silent about what had happened: “If you write a complaint, or tell it in court, or in a letter, or to a lawyer, you will never get out.”
When I was brought to the IVS, they asked where I had been beaten, but the GUBOPiK officer left only when the search was over – to testify that I was not complaining.
“Despite the threats, I insist that I do not plead guilty.”
To all of the above, I will add: from the moment of my release in 2015 until the last detention, I was detained four times by officers of punitive structures. I was convicted nine times under Article 17.11 of the Administrative Code – distribution of extremist materials for my posts on social networks. In 2018, my complaint about systematic persecution based on political views was registered with the UN Human Rights Committee. All of the above, as well as the criminal case against myself, I see as suppression of dissent and a fight against the manifestation of freedom of speech. And also as a personal revenge of the GUBOPiK employees for the consistent analysis of their actions.
All the behavior of the GUBOPiK employees, including bullying, beatings, insults, especially the coercion to film on camera, indicates a desire to publicly humiliate, deny respect, first of all, to my audience, presenting me in a miserable and broken form. And at the same time, intimidate other opinion leaders and activists.
Threats continued after my arrest. In particular, it became known to me that my loved ones were repeatedly written in messengers anonymously, allegedly with inside information about what awaits me in prison, a quote, “the worst thing” is that they are about to make me in a pre-trial detention center, quote, “omitted.” That, in the colony in Gorki, I will be killed by criminals and this will be blamed on heart problems. I have no doubt that the authors of these messages are operatives of the GUBOPiK and their goal is to intimidate my relatives and me.
Despite these threats, I insist that I do not plead guilty. My activity has been and will be of a humanistic and educational nature with the ultimate goal of building a free society.