Baranovichi: police arrest punk music fans

The Belarusian state carries on with repressions against young people from various subcultural groups on grounds of “extremism”. The ABC Belarus reports:

“29th of June, there was a live music performance at a pub in our town: a punk band (acoustic hiphop) was playing.

Just before the concert, a group of young punks was detained on the railway station. They had no alcohol on them and they didn’t break any rules or laws. The reason for their detention was simple: that day the Baranovichi police received an explicit order to “take care” of young punks, “freaks”, etc. The policemen were insulting and harassing the punks before arresting them. They spent about three hours at the police station, where they were interrogated by plain-clothed police (or KGB) agents, photographed, recorded on video cameras, fingerprinted; their personal information was filed. The policemen interrogated them about local activists and threatened them with further prosecution.

The concentration of police officers in the area of the pub, where the gig was about to begin, was overwhelming.

When the show was almost over, the policemen and plain-clothed agents (reportedly, even the local chief investigator was present) cordoned the pub off, blocked the street in both directions and began stopping everyone who looked like a punk or any other subculture representative. Again, they searched people, intimidated them, took note of their personal information and interrogated them about local political activists.

Four people were detained, allegedly for “offensive language”. After the plan for arrests was apparently fulfilled, the cops went away.

The next day, three of the four detained persons were judged and convicted for 5 days in prison each.”


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