The partner of a Belarusian who died during protests against the official election results in Belarus says they do not believe the government’s version that Alexander Taraikovsky was killed when an explosive device that he intended to throw at policemen exploded in his hand.
Elena German told The Associated Press on Saturday that she is sure police shot her 34-year-old partner.
German spoke a few hours before Taraikovsky’s funeral and burial. The dark circumstances of his death could add to the fury of the protesters, who have protested what they see as a presidential election sham and the subsequent violent police crackdown on the opposition.
Taraikovsky died on Monday as protests shook the streets of Minsk, the Belarusian capital, denouncing official figures, according to which President Alexander Lukashenko, in power since 1994, won a sixth term.
German was able to visit the morgue and see Taraikovsky’s body until Friday, four days after his death. The woman said she did not believe he had been holding an explosive.
“There is a seam in the chest area, the hole was stitched, but there is a black bruise. It’s small, but we noticed. His hands and feet are completely intact, there are not even bruises, ”he said.
“Obviously, it was a shot in the chest,” he added.
A video recorded by an Associated Press reporter on Monday shows Taraikovsky in his bloody shirt, before collapsing to the ground. Several policemen are seen nearby and some walk towards where Taraikovsky is lying on the street and stand around him.
The video does not show why he fell to the ground or how his shirt was bloody, but it does not show that an explosive device exploded in his hands, as the government maintains.
The Belarusian Interior Ministry has declined to comment on the situation, beyond its initial claim that a protester was killed by an explosive in his hands.
German said he intends to pursue a thorough investigation. He has asked a Belarusian human rights organization for help and wants international experts to participate in an investigation.
“I feel indignant, furious, that’s why I want there to be justice,” he stressed. “In fact, I am very scared. I was left alone, without support. I feel empty”.