Belarus: Theatre students arrested, fined for LGBT artistic stunt

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12/14/2018

Three of Belarus Free Theatre’s ‘Studio Fortinbras’ students were arrested and fined for “holding an unauthorised mass event” when they dressed as police officers with rainbow epaulettes for a public performance addressing homophobia on November 28, 2018. “These arrests are completely disproportionate to the supposed offense and an indication of the Belarusian authorities’ determination to clamp down on freedom of speech and freedom of assembly,” Belarus Free Theatre said in a statement to Freemuse on 13 December. “These arrests are meant to intimidate us and all human rights defenders and ordinary citizens into silence and to remind us that the police and the laws in Belarus are not there to protect the people but to protect the state from its own citizens. “However, we will not be silenced and will continue to call out human rights violations, wherever they happen.”

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