I worked as a cab driver. On October 11, 2021 I drove with my client to the prison at 36 Okrestina Street, where we played the song “Mura” at full volume. In this way we wanted to support the political prisoners who were imprisoned. A few minutes later a man ran out of the jail, headed towards us with a phone in his hands and filming us on video. As it turned out later, he was the warden of the prison. After he came closer to the car we left.
I was detained about an hour later, when I was leaving the store “Vitalyur” at 37 Pushkin Ave. During the arrest no one introduced himself or showed me any documents. They handcuffed me and took me to the police department, where they drew two reports. The first was from the traffic police for violating the stop sign, and the second was under Article 24.23 for picketing alone. Then I was taken to the prison on Okrestina, where they put me in a cold cell without clothes and kept me there for about four hours, and then took me to the punishment cell.
The next day I was handcuffed and after breaking my hands with a “swallow” they took me to the second floor to a room with a cage in which they put me. After a couple of minutes the warden came in and threatened to rape me. After that they took me to the punishment cell and an hour later brought me back to the same room where the court session was held via Skype, during which the warden stood at the side and insulted me with foul language and threatened to put me to death in prison. The judge sentenced me to 15 days of arrest and I was taken to the punishment cell.
In the punishment cell I was kept for 15 days in inhuman conditions: I slept on the concrete floor with little or no clothes and was not given any hygiene materials or allowed to take a shower. The light was never turned off (even at night), we were taken out of the cell at least 3 times a day in a bent position for searches, and at night we were awakened at 12 at 2 and 4 o'clock, supposedly for checks. On several occasions they put homeless people in our cell. At various times there were four to eight of us in the punishment cell.
When my fifteenth day was up they did not let me out, but handcuffed me and put me in a civilian car and took me to the police department, where a report was made under Article 19.1 for hooliganism, which I had not committed. Then they took me back to jail on Okrestina. Then everything was as it was the first time: a search, a glass, solitary confinement, the next day's trial and another 15 days in jail.
The next 15 days I was held in a punishment cell under the same conditions. At the end of 15 days I was taken handcuffed to a room on the fourth floor, where there was a man in his 50s at a large table and the director of the prison. They told me that I would be under their supervision. If my name got out somewhere, it would be very bad for me and being in solitary confinement would seem like a sanatorium.
After that they took me back to the punishment cell and let me out an hour and a half later. During my time in the punishment cell my health deteriorated badly, so I stayed at home for about 2 weeks. As soon as I felt better I left Belarus. Now I am in Poland.
How much does Bogdanovsky Ruslan need?
1,100 € — rent and deposit + basic necessities.