Belarus Free Theatre students arrested over LGBTQ+ art installation
29 Jun 2018
Belarus Free Theatre students arrested over LGBTQ+ art installation


Three student activists from Belarus Free Theatre’s Studio Fortinbras school, along with Belapan journalist Andrew Shavlygo, were arrested in Minsk on 28 June after the staging of an artistic stunt as part of a new campaign by the theatre in support of LGBTQ+ rights. The students placed rainbow-coloured flower pots at the foot of a statue of a policeman outside the Ministry of Interior to call out homophobia following an official statement by the ministry that claimed “same-sex relationships are fake”.

Those arrested were held overnight without being told why but upon release were fined for “disobeying police”.

“Index on Censorship urges the authorities in Belarus to release the students immediately and safeguard freedom of expression, including the right to protest,” Joy Hyvarinen, head of advocacy at Index, said.

Activists from the Belarus Free Theatre told RFE/RL’s Belarus Service: “We call on police officers to overcome their prejudice and begin to protect the rights of law-abiding LGBT people, who as taxpayers are funding the ministry,” activists from the Belarus Free Theatre told RFE/RL’s Belarus Service.

Preventing protest coverage: How Belarus controls what the public knows

“Europe’s last dictatorship” doesn’t tolerate dissent. The country’s constitution claims to protect freedom of the press, but many laws seem to contradict this.

#NoImpunity: Crimes against journalists go unresolved

Since 2004, over 700 journalists have been killed for their reporting. Nine out of 10 of these cases go unpunished.

Belarus: Civic solidarity movement condemns mass detentions and police violence

Index on Censorship joins with the Civic Solidarity Platform to condemn Belarus’ crackdown on peaceful protesters.

Belarus: Crackdown sweeping journalists and human rights defenders into detention

Hundreds of protests were detained during a weekend of anti-government protests in Belarus.

Comments are closed.