Belarus: Prosecutor wants singer prosecuted for insulting the president

NEWS

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Belarus:
Prosecutor wants singer prosecuted
for insulting the president

Singer Sergej Michalok is reportedly going to be sued by a Belarusian prosecutor for his remarks against president Alyaksandr Lukashenka, wrote Ingo Petz in an article for the German daily newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on 31 October 2011.

In mid-October a Minsk prosecutor announced that she wanted Sergej Michalok prosecuted for insulting the president. Michalok would be facing up to two years imprisonment for this charge. He is currently in Moscow and has not been commenting on the pending proceedings in Belarus.

Whether a court case is actually going to be opened is still not clear.

Appeared on blacklist
Dresden-born, Belarusian singer Sergej Michalok, (also spelled: Sergei) founder of the ska-reggae band Lyapis Trubetskoy, had a breakthrough with a couple of hits in 1998 that made him famous in the entire Russian-speaking countries.

Later he published songs like ‘Belarus Freedom’ (from the album ‘Manifesto’) where he sang about a mafia-corrupt regime under president Lukashenko.

In March 2011, he appeared on a blacklist, and since then, the band Lyapis Trubetskoy, who released a CD on the Berlin-based label Eastblok have been keeping low profile in Belarus.

‘Sure to be arrested’
In an interview with Russian journalists, Sergej Michalok said, addressed to president Lukashenko: “He’s not a president, he has gathered black brigades around himself and performs a genocide of the Belarusian people. This man who hates his people deserves at best a fair trial. But Lukashenko has left no witnesses of their crimes alive.”

The statement caused an outcry among bloggers on the Internet and in the independent media.

“If Sergej Michalok returns to Belarus, he is sure to be arrested,” another banned singer, Zmider Wajzjuschkewytsch, told the German Belarus-expert Ingo Petz. “Such direct criticism won´t be tolerated by the Belarusian regime,” he said.

Recently an icon of the independent Belarusian music scene, Ljavon Volski, came to the website tut.by to do a live interview. The interview was turned off because the owners of the portal had concerns about its content.



Sergej Michalok


Click to read about music censorship in Belarus
Belarus


Sources

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung / Eastblok Music – 31 October 2011:

‘Rock verzeiht, Luka nie!’

Lyapis Trubeckoy’s home page:

www.lyapis.com

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