Law enforcement officers used force against Igor Koktysh


The Prosecutor’s Office of the Korolyovsky District in Zhytomyr has initiated a criminal investigation against the law enforcement officers who allegedly used violence against Belarusian national Igor Koktysh, his wife and friends.

The Press Service of the Prosecutor General’s Office informs that the criminal investigation is on charges of exceeding official powers and infringement of the inviolability of a person’s residence by officers of the drug squad of the Zhytomyr Regional Department of the MIA.

The report states that a check established that on 3 November the officers, without sufficient grounds as envisaged by legislation, and going beyond their powers, had applied force, had entered the flat occupied by Mr Koktysh and his wife, without the permission of the owner and residents.  It adds that in breach of the norms of criminal procedure legislation, the police officers had used force and actions degrading the victims, and unlawfully carried out an inspection of the premises.

As reported, members of the drugs squad on 3 November arrived at the flat of the coordinators of Amnesty International in Ukraine Igor Koktysh and his wife Iryna Tiutunnyk, forced them and four friends to the ground while searching the premises, then took all of them to three different police stations. The others detained were Belarusian opposition figures:; Artyom Dubsky, recognized by AI as a prisoner of conscience, Tetyana and Vitaly Tyshchenki and Oleksiy Zakshevsky.

Two journalists from the Zhytomyr newspaper “20 minutes” arrived in response to a call from Iryna Tiutiunnyk. 

As well as a statement of protest from Amnesty International, there was also protest from local journalists after the two journalists present were summoned to appear at the MIA. Their newspaper declared a boycott of the MIA’s Public Relations Department, stating:  “After the latest incident when officers of the Zhytomyr Regional MIA used force against journalists from our newspaper, unlawfully removed the editorial board’s video recorder, the public relations department of the MIA began circulating knowingly untruthful, illogical and false information. They claimed that the journalists had forced their way into the flat where investigative activities were under way, did not identify themselves or show passes, and in general were “politely asked to leave”. This is despite the fact that the testimony of the main participants in the events and audio recordings published on our site and on central television suggest the contrary.”

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