Belarus: State radio reportedly bans politically sensitive song



State radio reportedly bans politically sensitive song

State-controlled Belarusian Radio is reported to have banned a 25-year-old song titled ‘Peremen’ (‘Change’) by the rebellious Soviet rock musician Viktor Tsoi after the song has been adopted as a kind of revolutionary anthem by the growing youth protest movement.

The lyrics of the song contain lines such as “Our hearts demand change, Our eyes demand change,” and radio listeners’ requests for the song apparently have spiked recently as protests against the government of President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko gained steam.

When it was first released in 1986, ‘Peremen’ was seen as a call to the younger Soviet generation to demand political change, and Soviet authorities tried to restrict it.

The non-state Belsat TV reported that a caller on a live Belarusian Radio programme requested Viktor Tsoi’s song and the presenter refused to play it. When the caller asked if the station had introduced censorship, the presenter ended the conversation.

Belsat TV also reported, citing an unnamed Belarusian Radio employee, that requests for several other politically suggestive songs have also increased dramatically in the past month.

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The New York Times – 29 July 2011:

‘In Belarus, Just Being Can Prompt an Arrest’

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty – 19 July 2011:

‘Belarusian State Radio Reportedly Bans Politically Sensitive Song’

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