NEWS
Belarus: British actors put on blacklist
06 Mar 2011
BY INDEX ON CENSORSHIP

Influential US and British actors and musicians including Oscar winners Kevin Spacey and Kelvin Kline, the Pet Shop Boys, Jude Law, Sienna Miller, Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Tom Stoppard and Samuel West, have been put on a “blacklist” of artists banned in Belarus.

A list apparently drawn up by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus has been leaked to leading opposition figures including website Charter97. Sources inside State TV have not denied the blacklist is in force.

Jude Law, Sienna Miller, Sir Ian McKellen and Samuel West have all been added to the list after they performed at an Index on Censorship event at the Young Vic with dissident theatre group the Belarus Free Theatre on 5 December last year. Kevin Kline and Kevin Spacey took part in a benefit for the company in New York, and recorded YouTube messages in support of free expression in Belarus (http://www.youtube.com/user/belarusfreetheatre#p/u).

Sir Tom Stoppard has supported the Belarus Free Theatre for many years and has been a vocal opponent of President Lukashenko’s authoritarian rule. Currently, the secret police (KGB) has an arrest warrant out for Belarus Free Theatre co-founder Nikolai Khalezin.

The official government position is that such a list does not exist. The head of the internet media department of the Belarusian Information Ministry, Vladimir Yadrintsev, told RIA Novosti that reports of the blacklist were “a clear provocation.” He added: “The Information Ministry did not initiate this”.


2 responses to “Belarus: British actors put on blacklist”

  1. I volunteer for a company called Ragged and we are hosting an event at The Tron Theatre, Glasgow as part of Refugee Week to raise awareness of this important issue on the 22nd June 7-10pm. e will be discussing the injustices the Free Belarus Theatre have encounted under the dictatorship of President Lukashenko, and the sytemic effects of aggressive censorship internationally , aslo discussing censorship in Iran, and the Freedom Theatre in Palestine recent loss through the murder of Juliano Mer Kamis. If anyone would like to be involved in this event please contact us as we are hoping to repeat it over an extended three day event at Edinburgh Festival this year as well. Contributions and quotes would be most appreciated.

    Best wishes

    Carrie Westwater

  2. I volunteer for a company called Ragged and we are hosting an event at The Tron Theatre, Glasgow as part of Refugee Week to raise awareness of this important issue on the 22nd June 7-10pm. e will be discussing the injustices the Free Belarus Theatre have encounted under the dictatorship of President Lukashenko, and the sytemic effects of aggressive censorship internationally , aslo discussing censorship in Iran, and the Freedom Theatre in Palestine recent loss through the murder of Juliano Mer Kamis. If anyone would like to be involved in this event please contact us as we are hoping to repeat it over an extended three day event at Edinburgh Festival this year as well. Contributions and quotes would be most appreciated.

    Best wishes

    Carrie