Session to discuss quality of crime detection and investigation by law enforcement agencies

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Stability in the country stems from the domestic political situation and people’s trust in the authorities. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the relevant statement during the government conference held on 20 August to discuss the quality of crime detection and investigation by law enforcement agencies.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “I rarely resort to various kinds of passionate and lofty words but today I would like to say that our meeting within the framework of this conference should become historic. Historic because this hall has gathered all the people the sovereignty and independence of our country depends on. Sovereignty and independence stems from stability. And the domestic political situation in our country and people’s trust in the authorities lie at the heart of this stability. So all the people, who shape the fate of the country and – let’s drop the pretense – the fate of every citizen, are gathered in this hall. What the country will be, how our people will live, and what kind of people they will be depend on you and I.”

The head of state noted that after the conference the state of affairs in law enforcement will change radically for the better, all the shortcomings revealed in anticipation of the conference will be fixed. “We are gathered here today not in order to report to each other, not for me to speak eloquently for public consumption. We are going to face accusations based on elections and the rest. Elections are totally not the point,” the President pointed out. “We are going to say a lot of unpleasant things. At least I would like you to.”

At the same time Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that the Belarusian society does not live in vacuum and can see what is going on in eastern and western neighboring countries. “We often say: thank god, it is not happening here. Thank god, we don’t have a class of oligarchs in the country, who not only determine the outcome of some situations but rule the country. We haven’t allowed bandits and criminals to split the country and offer ‘protection’ while leeching off our people. It is the greatest accomplishment of not only recent times but the entire period of independent Belarus. It has been done thanks to the policy the government pursues and thanks to what you, representatives of law enforcement agencies, do,” the Belarusian leader noted.

The President stressed that people and fair treatment of the people have always been, are, and will be the foundation of the entire policy of the state. The head of state added that he constantly talks about it not for the sake of populism or PR. “If you think I do, you cannot occupy positions of power. Let me emphasize once again: people are the most important thing and fairness is the most important thing in our policy towards people. Protecting lives and rights of people is the top-priority task of the law enforcement system. The nation’s trust in this system is one of the key indicators to measure the effectiveness, professionalism, and legality of actions of all law enforcement officers. It is extremely important to preserve this trust, which is impossible without observing the letter of the law at every step of the work,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The head of state pointed out that first of all law enforcement agencies must ensure presumption of innocence. At the same time they must observe the principle of inevitability of punishment for crimes. “It is what the nation demands of us. We’ve sworn an oath to the people,” he noted. “Moreover, today law enforcement agencies have everything they need to work well. This is why the nation and the state have the right to expect the relevant results.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed to serious deficiencies and failures in the work of the law enforcement. Appeals of citizens and regulatory enforcement reveal a number of problems, including grave ones. “The recent example (it was broadly discussed in the media, but I do not want to dwell on it now) is the case of the chief engineering officer of Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant. I believe the case is not as simple as it seems to the public and even the court. However, this is a matter of a separate discussion. This is a good example of the form and essence of your work. This pertains to the police, among other agencies. The number of appeals and high-profile cases reveals serious deficiencies and mistakes in the work of the police, investigative branch and, unfortunately, public prosecutor's office,” the President said.

In his words, people sometimes get an impression that the law enforcement cares more about performance indicators and ratings rather than people. “Falsifications during investigations of criminal cases are so blatant that you should not have launched these criminal proceedings at all. Some officers get so out of line that they should be stripped of rank – these people deserve to be removed from our society much more than those who they charge with a crime,” the head of state said.

It is even worse when they use violence incommensurate with the situation. “You think are you masters of other people’s fate! You stormed into a house with children and pregnant women in it, pin a person to the ground or ‘put him on a face’ as you call it, frogmarch him, break several ribs and cause a concussion at the minimum. Those who did it are total idiots who should not be with the law enforcement, either. What is absolutely unacceptable is the emergence of a new ‘form of work’ in the law enforcement – the use of coercion in a criminal investigation. They even approach judges and start pressurizing and intimidating them,” the President noted.

Aleksandr Lukashenko was outraged that such facts are simply brought to the President’s attention with no action taken against such officers. The head of state noted that he should be informed about the response to such incidents.

“This has nothing to do with the rule of law. Today we need to identify all the reasons for   such things and to decide what to do in order to prevent the violation of human rights in our country,” the head of state noted.