A leaked audio recording has emerged of what seems to be a senior Belarusian Interior Ministry official discussing plans to build an internment camp complete with barbed wire for political prisoners.
Posted on YouTube by BYPOL, a grouping of former Belarusian security and justice officials and officers who have abandoned Lukashenko and switched over to the opposition, the recording goes as follows:
“A database is being created… The assignment is to develop and build a camp for prisoners of war or even the interned… the settlement would be surrounded with barbed wire along the perimeter.”
Nikolai Karpenkov, Belarusian Deputy Internal Affairs Minister, is allegedly the person speaking in the recording. He also urges officers to use lethal force against the protesters, assuring them that they would face no repercussions if they do, apparently admitting that an unarmed civilian killed at the demonstration in Minsk in August was in fact shot at close range with a rubber bullet by riot police.
“That’s why, as the president said, when someone’s walking towards you, use your weapon, so that he understands what he’s done after he regains consciousness. Either maim, or mutilate, or kill them. Use your weapon to shoot him in his forehead, right in the face, right in the point of no return to the condition he was in before this. The head of state covers us from all angles in terms of using firearms," the man goes on saying.
The Belarusian Interior Ministry said the recording was fake and declined further comment.
Belarus has witnessed unprecedented and unflagging protests since the disputed August 9 elections.