Young Guy Beaten Nearly to Death after a Gay Party in Minsk

The shocking story has been discussed in small circles of activists since a couple of months. At last, the attacked guy’s relatives and friends have decided to tell the details of the terrifying accident to the public.

Oleg Rozhkov, Gaypress

It’s been for the first time that a criminal case for committing a hate crime in relation to a homosexual person has received publicity in Belarus. Mikhail Pishchevsky was beaten nearly to death at the entrance to a night clubhouse in Minsk, where a gay party took place. The attacker L. didn’t know the guy. (His surname cannot be revealed at the moment, since the court verdict hasn’t come in force yet.) According to the witnesses’ evidence, he attacked Mikhail for the only reason that the latter was of a different sexual orientation.

Mikhail’s parents and friends did not want to publicize the story for the fear of condemnation from the neighbours, friends and the society, in general. The turning point came, when Mikhail came out of a coma a month after the bloodcurdling accident and when there appeared a hope to return him to life.

Private Life
 
Mikhail has never been an open gay person. At work, he deals with house design and construction of cottages, coping with everything from house drawings to fence installations. He is fond of music and he is a frequent gym-goer. He is a loving brother to his sister and Godfather to her two children. He is a caring son to his mother. The topic of his private life has been open to his close friends only. Michail’s relatives didn’t know anything about his sexuality before the accident.

image

Mikhail’s mother Valiantsina shared her son’s unrealized plans in the interview to the Belarusian LGBT Journalists’ Group:

He has always been very persistent and single-minded. He bought a car and collected money to buy an apartment… He kept persuading me to join him on a trip to Thailand. ‘Quit your job, Mom, you have already worked enough, time to start a vacation’, he said…

Mikhail didn’t have a chance to implement this idea, since he was brutally attacked just in a few days after the talk.

The Attack

In the evening of May 25, 2014, Mikhail and his friends were relaxing at a private gay party at one night club in Minsk. Several people had a smoke at the entrance to the clubhouse. It became possible to reconstruct the course of events from their words.
 
A group of lads came to the club building at around 2 a.m. A girl left the club and complained to them that nobody liked her there, since only gay people were inside.

On learning this, the guys got aggressive. They waited for the first party-goers to leave the clubhouse and started shouting at them: «Look at the fagots coming!» It was Mikhail and two of his friends, who were leaving the club building at that moment. Having heard the offenses, Mikhail retorted: «Who is the fagot over here?»

It was the end of the argument, since L. attacked him and started beating him black and blue.

Mikhail didn’t manage to defend himself from the strokes and fell on his right side. One of his friends hurried to help him. The other friend tried to appease the attacker, but he got hit in the face, too.

Seeing the victim badly hurt, L. and his companions ran from the scene. They observed the ambulance and police coming from the arch of the house nearby. One of witnesses noticed them in the shelter, detained the attacker, and handed him over to the cops.

On the Edge between Life and Death

The medics found Mikhail Pishcheuski in a critical state. They didn’t manage to identify whether it was from the blows or the guy’s falling that subdural hematoma to be urgently removed appeared in his brain. Approximately 20% of Mikhail’s brain was cut during surgical operations. He was in a coma for about a month, and the chance that he would survive, was minimal.

Nevertheless, the guy came to his senses.

Mikhail is still in the nearly vegetative state. His reflexes are present. He is breathing. Sometimes he manages to move his hand or open his mouth in an attempt to say something at the doctors’ request. However, sometimes his relatives notice him ‘frozen’ and oblivious to others.

Doctors are going to discharge Mikhail from hospital soon. However, it is not due to the fact that he has started to feel himself much better than before. It is owing to the fact that the Belarusian medical system cannot help him with anything else in his present state.

According to Mikhail’s relatives, rehabilitation of such patients is not implemented in Belarus. Therefore, Mikhail’s friends are negotiating the possibility of transporting him to one of clinics in Germany. — He will never be as before. However, the treatment can improve the quality of his life, they say.

Trial and Verdict

On October 16, 2014, the judge of Central City District Court in Minsk announced a sentence to L. The accused was convicted on charges under article 339, part 1 and article 155 of the Criminal Code of Belarus.

The court sentenced L. to 2 years of arrest for hooliganism, although the law provides for up to three years of prison in such cases. 2 years of restriction of liberty were added for ‘causing grievous bodily harm to a person by negligence’.

Thus, the accused L. was sentenced to 2 years and 8 months of imprisonment in a penal colony. Also, he was obliged to pay moral damages to the victim in the amount of 100 million Belarusian rubles (approx. EUR 7,400).

The alcoholic intoxication of the accused was announced as the only aggravating factor on the case. The court disregarded the fact that the crime was committed on the ground of hate and intolerance towards sexual orientation of the attacked person. It was done despite numerous testimonies of witnesses and hostile attitude towards homosexuals, expressed by the attacker during the trial session.

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As soon as the verdict was announced, he even entered into a quarrel with Mikhail’s friends, naming them fagots that had to be «impaled».

Mikhail’s parents disagreed with the court verdict. Most of all, they became concerned with the fact that the defendant intended to appeal against the court verdict to mitigate the punishment. According to them, the degree of punishment had to be increased, not decreased. Therefore, they continued to study the case materials with the attorney, in order to appeal against the relatively lenient sentence to the attacker.

For Caring People

Mikhail’s friends have started a campaign on raising funds for his rehabilitation. If they manage to collect enough money and the doctors decide that Mikhail is ready to endure long trips, the donations will be directed to his medical rehabilitation abroad.

In the meantime, Mikhail’s family is preparing for getting him home. In the present state, he needs constant supervision and care. Moreover, a nurse has to be hired to clean the respiratory and feeding tubes as well as to deal with the medicaments, bandages etc.

The charity account details for all non-indifferent people, who are ready to help Mikhail, can be found below:

Currency
USD

56 Correspondent Bank
CITIBANK N.A., NEW YORK
SWIFT: CITIUS33
Account 36316265
57 Beneficiary Bank
BELARUSBANK
18, DZERZHINSKI AVE
MINSK 220089, BELARUS
SWIFT: AKBBBY2X
Beneficiary
Bartashevich Valiantsina
Account number 000284
For treatment Michael Pischevskiy
Acc. at branch
527/527

Currency
EURO

56 Correspondent Bank
SWIFT: COBADEFF
COMMERZBANK AG, FRANKFURT AM MAIN
400886596600EUR

57 Beneficiary Bank
BELARUSBANK
18, DZERZHINSKI AVE
MINSK 220089, BELARUS
SWIFT: AKBBBY2X
Beneficiary
Reciever: Bartashevich Valiantsina
Account number:000028
For treatment Michael Pischevskiy
Acc. at branch
527/527

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