UK Reporter Detained in Belarus: 'Police Laughed While Pinning Me Down'
27 March, 2017

During the major protests in Minsk, Belarus, it was not only activists being arrested by the police, but also passersby and journalists. The Belarusian Association of Journalists said at least 25 media workers were detained in Belarus on Saturday, March, 25th.

British journalist Filip Warwick was among them. At first it was reported that he was missing, but later he was released. Filip said he was beaten by the police.

Around 700 people were arrested during the protests in Minsk on March, 25th. Photo: screenshot from Reuters

"When I was pinned to the ground , they [policemen] laughed. At this police facility, they were laughing. While I’m not too sure whether they were enjoying this spectacle, or whether it was out of fear, but it was a bit of a show, perhaps, for them," the journalist recounts.

He says he told the police numerous times that he was British citizen, but they did not react. Furthermore, he was not allowed to contact the British Embassy.

"For 6 hours I did request them to contact the Embassy, which they didn't. A woman by the name of Tanya Rudenko, who acted as a translator [...], I asked her to contact the Embassy on numerous occasions, and she refused," Filip said.

According to Filip, the police wrote up a protocol, which had three to four signatures. In that protocol the journalist was accused of participating in the protest.

"I was nowhere near the protests when I was detained", Filip assures.

Filmed by Kostyantyn Reutskiy