Updated at 21:04,23-03-2021

Belarusian Detained Doctor Talks About Abuse And Torture In Detention


Belarusian Detained Doctor Talks About Abuse And Torture In Detention
Irina Markelova works as an endoscopist at the LODE Medical Center in Minsk. The woman was detained last Sunday near Nemiga metro station, when she was walking with her friends, Radio Svaboda writes

“It started raining, I opened my red and white umbrella. Police vans immediately drove up to us, and ‘men in black’ pushed about 32 people in it. Near the Sports Palace, we were transferred to paddy wagons with cells. Then there was an episode that turned my whole idea of ​​life upside down.

We smelled something, as if someone sprayed gas. People started coughing. I felt that I couldn’t breathe. I had laryngospasm, this is when the vocal cords are completely closed, one can’t inhale or exhale. This is when you understand – you are dying. It is very easy to die from asphyxiation. People next to me started shouting that a person felt bad. But they didn’t hear us, the doors were closed.

Before that, guys were thrown into a corridor between the cells and beaten. Maybe someone sprayed gas at them and it skimmed us. We were taken to the Zavodskoy District Department of Internal Affairs. We were standing outside facing the wall for 10-15 minutes, and then we were transferred to an assembly hall, where there were many beaten men. Some had paint on their faces, their hair was cut, and they limped.”

A chain with a cross and earrings were seized from Irina. Later, the detainees were taken to Zhodino.

“At the entrance to the prison building, as in the paddy wagon, there was a white-red-white flag. One woman tried not to step on the flag and was hit for this. They made us squat down the corridors like geese. Seniors, aged 60-70, were also forced to do this. One woman could not do squat because of joint problems. Then a prison guard shouted: “You, got up! Everyone will now go like this because of you!”.

This is torture, I can’t think of any other word for it.

We were stripped naked and even our crotch was examined. Then they took me to a cell. There were 6 bunks made of metal plates for 12 people. We were laying in twos. I was wearing a ski suit, so it didn’t hurt as much as it was for the others. At night they brought in more women, there were 27 of us in the cell for six people, it was impossible to breathe. There was not enough oxygen. We didn’t eat for more than a day.

In the evening they brought me to trial. As a result, my case was sent back for revision and I was given a subpoena for 23 November.”

Irina Markelova is raising an 8-year-old son. Her husband Dmitry Markelov, a surgeon at the Minsk Scientific and Practical Center for Surgery, Transplantology and Hematology, is now behind bars and serving a sentence for the action of solidarity. On 2 November, healthcare workers gathered to express their solidarity with the expelled students of Belarusian State Medical University..