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Christmas Present from Belarus Authorities to Gay Activist: A Fine of a Month’s Pay

 Gay Activists Fined for Taking Part in Human Rights Demo Near Iranian Embassy in Minsk

 

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■ Two of the three protesters outside the Iranian Embassy in Minsk last week.
photo courtesy Gay.by

 

MINSK, December 25, 2009  –  The chairman of LGBT Human Rights project, GayBelarus, Sergey Androsenko, received a Christmas present earlier this week from the Belarus authorities.

He was fined the equivalent of a month’s pay – 875,000 Belarus Roubles (190 UK pounds, 210 Euros, 300 US dollars) – when found guilty of organising a three-person demonstration against the execution of gays in Iran close to the Iranian Embassy in Minsk.

The court was told that the small demonstration had not been authorised by the authorities.

Sergey Praded was fined 350,000 Belarus roubles (76 UK pounds, 85 Euros, 122 US dollars).  The day after the protest, the third participant was fined 105,000 Belarus roubles.

“All of my friends are shocked that I was sentenced to pay penalty equal to month’s salary for the peaceful action, which consisted of three people only, ” Mr. Androsenko told UK Gay News.

“What can be more touching than receiving such a Christmas present from the government?

“We attracted attention to the issue of killing innocent citizens of Iran having used maximum of possible means. Belarusian authorities are trying to build good relationships with Iranian regime, which commits such crimes.  People should know about it.  The world can’t hear the voice of Iranian gays, who are being executed, but we, activists of LGBT movement, have to become this voice, Mr. Androsenko said.

I am going to appeal for review, though I fully admit, that on the national level national legislation I can’t win this case,” he admitted.

But according to our Constitution I have a right to appeal to International bodies, so I’m going to take this case to UN Human Rights Committee.

It will reveal roughness of Belarusian legislation to issues of organising of such actions and restrictions to express one’s own thoughts, even if the thought is humanitarian rather than a political point of view.

During the court case, a witness an employee of the embassy claimed that on December 16 during the protest the men handed their petition not just to employees of the embassy, but also to the ambassador of Iran in Belarus himself.

Representatives of Belarusian Helsinki Committee and Human Rights centre, Viasna, including Viasna chair Alies Bialiatski, were in court to support Mr. Androsenko and Mr. Praded.

 

 

 

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Posted: 25 Dec 2009 at 17:00 (UK time)

   
             
       

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