Dissident journalist Roman Protasevich has almost certainly been tortured after his Ryanair flight was hijacked over Belarusian airspace on Sunday.
The 26-year old’s own coverage of last year’s brutal crackdown by Europe’s last dictator, Alexander Lukashenko, is an insight into the ordeal that awaits him.
It was his news channel that inspired hundreds of thousands to gather in the streets against Alexander Lukashenko, where many were beaten and hauled into police vans on the mere surmise that they’d attended demonstrations.
Roman Protasevich’s bold coverage while an editor at Nexta alerted the world to the relentless beatings being given out in Roman Lukashenko’s torture chambers.
Captives suffered broken bones, broken teeth, skin lesions, electrical burns, brain injuries and kidney damage.
Police in balaclavas would hold people for three sleep-deprived days, during which time they suffered electrocutions, stress positions and starvation as guards forced them to sign confessions.
The ruthlessness was such that video captured by a witness recorded victims screams reverberating from the prison walls in Minsk at night.
United Nations experts have recorded no less than 450 cases of torture up to September and ten victims have launched a human rights legal challenge against Lukashenko in Germany.
Lawyers for the group describe the state’s treatment of them as brutal.
In the summer of 2020, Valery Samalazau was working as an IT specialist in the United Kingdom.
The father of three travelled to his homeland of Belarus to complete paperwork so that he could vote in the presidential election on August 9.
The following day Lukashenko, who’s ruled with an iron fist since 1994, was given another term in elections widely thought to have been rigged.
Nationwide demonstrations erupted as Valery Samalazau took a trip to see a friend in Minsk.
He said he was walking along the pavement when he was swiftly surrounded and questioned, and that he responded politely and showed his ID.
Valery Samalazau happened to be wearing a T-shirt with a skull logo from The Punisher comic book printed on it.
Belarusian police insisted it was a Third Reich insignia and accused him of sympathising with the Azov Battalion, a neo-Nazi group fighting in eastern Ukraine.
The officers also became fascinated as they searched him, finding British bank cards and a SIM card from the United Kingdom, and Valery Samalazau said that they believed they’d caught the protest organiser.
He was dragged around the back of the train station in Minsk and beaten, he was then taken into a police van on suspicion of being a foreign spy.
He said the van was a torture chamber on wheels. Many people screamed, cried, prayed, barfed in it, and he lost awareness twice from pain.
His hands were bound behind his back and twisted by the masked men as they murmured in his ear: ‘Apparently, you don’t fear pain…but we will make you suffer.’
His arms went numb below the elbows as the pain became intolerable, and he begged them to have some compassion, telling them he was a father, but they only tightened their grip and he lost consciousness.
They were transported to a prison in Zhodzina, about 30 miles outside the metropolis, where the other captives were launched from the van, but Mr Samalazau was kept in the vehicle and told that he required special treatment.
He was told to kneel and then get up on his feet but he toppled over.
The officers in balaclavas held him up against the side of the van and beat him around the head, torso and legs.
He said that he was thrown out of the van and made to kneel until they called his surname. Once again, masked officers said they would be paying extra attention to him.
This is absolutely repulsive behaviour, and dictators of Belarus should be charged with international criminality because this is unacceptable behaviour from another human being, and this sort of behaviour should never be condoned in this day and age.
And we whine about the police in other countries when there are places where people experience terrifying cruelty and then they simply disappear and there’s no recourse, and it appears that we live in such a sick world, where there are countless daily horrors everywhere.
Why can’t we just all live in peace, and why does man’s greediness for wealth, power and want to control others lead him down this extreme path of eventual self-destruction without a second thought?
Sadly, vestigial communism is still as cruel, wicked and criminal as it was under Joseph Stalin and it’s a heathen dogma that pulverises non-believers in the state religion of communism and socialism.
And people are the worst thing that ever happened to this world because we will never live in peace together. And we make it impossible because we are too selfish, jealous, intolerant, greedy, aggressive, violent, hateful, spiteful and stupid.
And it’s really difficult to understand the sick brutality being meted out to detainees in that country.
This isn’t human behaviour, and yet it’s being done by humans on humans, but what sort of human being can do that to another human being?