On the evening of 9 August, 25-year-old Aliaksandr Vikhor was detained by riot police during protests in Gomel. Three days later, on 12 August, the guy died in the intensive care unit.
Source: TUT. BY
Source: Radio Liberty
In the first days after his death, an investigator told Aliaksandr’s relatives: "so he was high on drugs". This untrue information continued to be replicated by the police. But the official examination found no drugs or alcohol in the dead man’s blood.
"He was not involved in the action. He was on his way to see a girl on Sunday. He was grabbed somewhere in the center as he was switching to another transport. He texted me to say he’d been taken… And that was it. I’ve been looking for him all these days. I wasn’t given any information about him. Today they finally told me that Sasha is in the morgue," Aliaksandr’s mother Sviatlana Vikhor told Radio Liberty that day.
Witnesses to those tragic events testified that Aliaksandr felt ill from the moment of his arrest and asked for help. But the only response he received was numerous blows from the law enforcers. Other detainees also asked for help, but no one reacted. When Aliaksandr’s condition deteriorated again, the police sprayed pepper gas on him.
The Investigative Committee conducted an inquiry and concluded that no one was to blame for the young man’s death. The official version: "Vikhor had acute cardiac arrhythmia". Experts recorded injuries on the body — traumas, haematomas, fractures of ribs and sternum.
But they wrote that the injuries and fractures had nothing to do with the causes of death.
The mother of Gomel resident Aliaksandr Vikhor, who died in August last year after being detained by the police, has familiarised herself with the materials of the investigation into her son’s death. The investigators did not allow video footage or copies to be made. The woman rewrote six volumes of the case by hand for a month.
Aleksandr’s mother was also shown a video recorded by police showing her son dying:
"This is the most horrible video in my life — to see your son dying," she told Radio Liberty.
"He was sitting handcuffed on the concrete floor, he was seizing, convulsing… His eyes were like those of a dog… He was looking at the police officers and thought that there were people around him who would help him. He was then lying on the floor cramping, and they were videotaping him and accompanying him with mocking comments."
Sviatlana Vikhor disagreed with the decision to refuse to initiate criminal proceedings and sent a complaint to the Prosecutor’s Office of Gomel Region.
Aliaksandr Vikhor is not the only person to have died at the hands of law enforcement officers since the presidential election on 9 August 2020. Apart from him, at least 8 other cases are known.