Officials have refused to issue a touring certificate for a concert of Amaroka. The musicians were explained that their art could be treated as war or extremism propaganda and pose a threat to national security.
Head of the Department of Culture of the Minsk City Executive Committee, Vitalina Rudzikava, has officially prohibited a concert by the rock band Amaroka scheduled for 5 June 2014, according to a media project tuzin.fm.
One of the organisers of the gig, Pavel Belavus, said that Amaroka band is going to seek more specific explanation on this incident, as the creative work of the musicians is far from the characteristics mentioned in the document.
Almost at the same time, a concert of the band Pet Nihil in Hrodna was banned on practically the same reasons.
“Threat to national security”
First official confirmation that Belarus has a ban on a number of local rock bands
“The official’s decision is likely to go down in history as it the first official confirmation that Belarus has a ban on a number of local rock bands. Amaroka were preparing to present their new album on June 5. In accordance with the laws, the band’s representatives submitted the necessary documents to the Minsk City Executive Committee, but their application was rejected. In a private conversation with then deputy head of the ideological department, Siarhei Miadzvedzeu, the band members were told that the group’s songs were a threat to national security. The applicant and the band’s manager Pavel Belavus was not satisfied with this answer and applied again, this time with the lyrics attached, to show that there was no extremism and incitement of hatred in their songs.
This time, Amaroka received an official explanation from the head of the department of culture Vitalina Rudzikava. It argues that the organizer of the concert was not allowed to hold it, as the “content of the works is covered by paragraph 5 of section 2 of the Regulations on the organization and conduct of entertainment activities”.
According to this document, it is “forbidden to organize activities:
– whose purpose is to promote war or extremist activity;
– that pose a threat to national security, public order, morality and health, rights and freedoms of citizens;
– in violation of the requirements of these Regulations and other legislative acts, including in the field of copyright and neighboring rights.”
According to tuzin.fm, the indignation among the ideology officials was caused by the band’s gig at the Kyiv’s Maidan protests, as well as their involvement in the concert ‘Solidarity with Belarus’, together with the banned Liapis Trubetskoy.”