2021-12-10
Arseni Zakharevich.

After being detained and beaten by police officers in August 2020, a 17-year-old resident of Barysau, Arseni Zakharevich was forced to leave Belarus and now lives in Lithuania with his parents. With the help of the International Committee for the Investigation of Torture, the family filed charges with the Lithuanian police, since this crime of the Belarusian security forces falls under the universal jurisdiction.

On the afternoon of 11 August 2020, the teenager took a walk with friends in his home town of Barysau. At this time, there were protests there after the presidential elections, but he did not take part in them; in the afternoon, the police chased the youngsters away from the town square. In the evening of the same day, he was beaten by police officers when he accompanied a girl home. A car drove up to him, three policemen jumped out of it. They loaded him into a car, searched him, started beating him, then took him to a police station where the beating continued.

Later, Arseni was diagnosed with a closed head injury. The arrest report states that the teenager allegedly shouted slogans in the square, where he couldn’t have been present. While his mother, Yuliya Charnykh, was trying to file charges against those responsible for beating her son, her lawyer was informed that a criminal case had been opened against her for insulting an official. After that, the family was forced to leave Belarus. At first they lived in Ukraine, then moved to Lithuania.

In Lithuania, Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic, a number of investigations are being carried out against Belarusian security forces and Lukashenko himself. Many of them are carried out within the framework of universal jurisdiction.