Thousands of detained and beaten people have gone through torture. Their number is growing with every passing day, and every day independent media outlets do their utmost to make Belarus and the world hear the voices of our compatriots. There are so many stories that human drama and distress are getting lost in them. With the help of the project, we try to grasp (as far as possible) what the victims of police violence [or: state violence] were feeling and experiencing.
Some of our interlocutors have left Belarus. The other tremble for their nearest and dearest or want to avoid further persecution. That is why they talk to us on condition of anonymity. Several interviewees have been involved in the political life of Belarus for long, they had no illusions upon the nature of the incumbent authorities, but the post-election terror appalled them as well. Others got interested in politics only in the summer of 2020, and the grave side of their country opened up in its entirety. There were also those who fell into the hands of law enforcement officers when getting home from work or going shopping. To some extent, it is a portrait of Belarusian society, not only of the victims.
We decided against publishing some of the stories as their truth cannot be fully confirmed at the moment.
It is the independent judiciary that must give a legal assessment of what has happened in our country over the recent months. However, it is safe to say even now that we have faced state terror and torture.
There is no excuse for torture and terror either under Belarusian legislation or in accordance with the standards of international law.
During the protests, independent media, including Belsat TV journalists, have also endured unprecedented pressure and torture. Lots of colleagues were forced to leave their homeland. But the obstacles will not prevent us from doing our work; neither will they help cover up state crimes.