Members of Belarus Free Theatre arrested

This week, five members of the Belarus Free Theatre, a Prince Claus Fund partner, were arrested in Belarus as part of a clampdown on human rights protests. 

On Saturday 24 March, company members had been taking part in the Freedom Day protests against a new tax on the unemployed in Belarus, which also called for the resignation of President Alexander Lukashenko who has held power for 23 years.

According to our partners: “ Four have been released, but one - Siarhei Kvachonak - is still imprisoned and on Monday, was sentenced to 10 days in prison on a charge of "shouting, using strong language and hooliganism", a sentence which might be extended. Another actress - Yana Rusakevich - was found in a hospital on Sunday with a severe concussion and temporal bone fracture. Yana has been with the company since 2005. 

The streets were cleared of protestors with military force and the internet was shut down in a bid to stop the movement.  Over the last week, almost 1,000 have been arrested.  These include 35 journalists and 58 staff members of human rights organisations.” 

Co-Artistic Director Natalia Kaliada was quoted in The Guardian saying: "It's a strategy of arrests and clearing the streets and blocking the internet that they think will spook people, but the people are very angry….This is the worst crackdown over the last seven years, but it would have been the biggest protest. People don't care, they want an end to this dictator.  The say 'basta' - enough."

The Belarus Free Theatre is a partner of the the Prince Claus Fund that promotes and encourages peaceful tolerance, human diversity and freedom of expression in Belarus through theatre performance, education workshops, international tours, contemporary drama competitions and audio and text publications.

For further information and updates please connect with Belarus Free Theatre on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Members of Belarus Free Theatre arrested

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Members of Belarus Free Theatre arrested

This week, five members of the Belarus Free Theatre, a Prince Claus Fund partner, were arrested in Belarus as part of a clampdown on human rights protests.  On Saturday 24 March, company members had been taking part in the Freedom Day protests against a new tax on the unemployed in Belarus, which also called for the resignation of President Alexander Lukashenko who has held power for 23 years. According...

 
 
 
 

Members of Belarus Free Theatre arrested

This week, five members of the Belarus Free Theatre, a Prince Claus Fund partner, were arrested in Belarus as part of a clampdown on human rights protests.  On Saturday 24 March, company members had been taking part in the Freedom Day protests against a new tax on the unemployed in Belarus, which also called for the resignation of President Alexander Lukashenko who has held power for 23 years. According...