State Campaign against LGBT organisation
The Belarusian authorities have initiated what seems to be a campaign against the LGBT community in the country. Over 30 members of the human rights organisation GayBelarus have been interrogated by police after the organisation attempted for the second time to register at the Ministry of Justice.
“The Belarusian authorities should stop the pressure on GayBelarus and give the organisation registration. GayBelarus’ members belong to a group of few courageous people in Belarus that dare speak up for respect for human rights of LGBT-persons in Belarus. European politicians should demand that their freedom of association is respected”, says Joanna Kurosz, Programme Director at Civil Rights Defenders.
Last week the police raided gay clubs arranged in Minsk and Vitebsk. During these raids 60 people were photographed and 160 were registered. Since then, the police department responsible for drug control and combatting trafficking, has summoned over 30 members of the organisation nationwide for “talks”. They were asked about everything from an alleged rape in Brest to questions on how they became homosexual, where LGBT-meetings take place, the activities of the organisation, as well as questions about the chairman, Siarhei Androsenka.
Siarhei Androsenka, chairman of GayBelarus, believes that the recent pressure from authorities could be connected to the attempt to register the organisation.
“The police have through their actions clearly violated our members’ right to privacy. We have written two protest letters to the local Ministry of Interior and we call for unity among our members in these times of pressure. However, it is inevitable that people might feel scared due to this unwanted attention from the authorities”, says Siarhei Androsenka, chairman of GayBelarus.
GayBelarus is trying to register under the name Lambda and the decision is yet to be taken by the Belarusian Ministry of Justice.