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Story Of Mikita Zalatarou - Face of Protest #2

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Mikita Zalatarou from Gomel will turn 17 in May, but judging by the photos, he looks four years younger. The police searched for him all night on 11 August and detained him at home in the morning


Source: onliner. by

On the evening of 10 August in Gomel, people once again came out to protest. Law enforcement officers were suppressing the protesters by running after them and loading them into the police vans. The whole centre was busy with this process. Something important was also happening at 23:20 near house number 51 on Lenin Avenue. What exactly was going on, we can now only judge from the very scanty reports of the Investigative Committee and the police. The Investigative Committee later said, without much detail, that a bottle had been thrown at the policemen, and that criminal proceedings were instituted for especially malicious hooliganism ("…acts committed with the objects used as weapons''). There is more than one suspect. One of them is Mikita Zalatarou. That same night uniformed people came to his house twice. On the third time they caught him.

Mikita Zalatarou from Gomel will turn 17 in May, but judging by the photos, he looks four years younger. The police searched for him all night on 11 August and detained him at home in the morning. Since then, he has been in custody, which is already unusual: they try not to imprison youngsters with a complicated diagnosis unless something very extraordinary has happened. The Investigative Committee formulates the reason as follows: "A bottle with a liquid with a characteristic odour of petrol was thrown by a group of citizens <…> in the direction of police officers''. Zalatarou is one of the accused. Mikita’s father does not believe that his son could have done such a thing. He believes that his son was beaten in the police and pre-trial detention centre. The lawyer filed a complaint about this, but the authorities did not find any corpus delicti. Nikita stated in court that he had been beaten not only in August, but also on December 29 in Homel detention center. Also, the teenager said in court that he was not given pills in the detention centre, despite the fact that Mikita has epilepsy. "The guard said: "You're political, you’ll die," said the juvenile.

Photo source: onliner.by
Photo source: onliner.by

Mikita Zalatarou, along with Leonid Kovalev and 25-year-old Dmitry Korneev, were charged for the events of 10 August under three articles of the Criminal Code:

  • 293 (organisation of mass riots);
  • 295−3 (unlawful acts in relation to objects whose striking effect is based on the use of flammable substances);
  • 364 (violence or threat of violence against police officers).

Mikita refused to testify, exercising his right not to testify against himself. Judge Dmitry Deboy sentenced the minor Zalatarou to five years in an educational colony.

After the verdict, Mikita Zalatarou became hysterical. He threw himself on the bars and shouted: "Let me out of here!"