Police arrested LGBT demonstrators in Minsk

Seven Belarusian LGBT-activists were recently fined for participating in a demonstration for the rights of sexual minorities. They were arrested on Saturday when they joined about 30 other activists in the “Slavic Gay Pride 2010”. The activists were carrying a rainbow flag and shouting slogans such as “Equal rights – no compromises” and “Homophobia is a disease”. The police dispersed the crowd and took away some of the activists.

LGBT persons in Eastern Europe struggle hard to be visible. In a dictatorship like Belarus, where citizens only have access to information that is approved by the regime, it is even more difficult to reach out with alternative messages. It is unacceptable that these people’s basic rights, like the right to freedom of expression and to freedom of assembly, are not respected, says Robert Hårdh, Executive Director of Civil Rights Defenders.

The authorities had previously denied the organisers permission to conduct the demonstration. The official reason was that the demonstration would be passing too close to a public subway or metro station. The seven activists were sentenced to pay minimal fines, equivalent of 4 1/2 EURO each.

Categories: News.
Tags: LGBT and Pride.
Regions: Belarus.