Minsk authorities ban opposition concert

The Minsk city authorities have banned a concert and a rally planned by the opposition for July 27 to mark an anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Belarus' Sovereignty. The event was to take place at Kastrychnitskaya Square in downtown Minsk.

The organizers do not intend to stage the concert in defiance of the ban, Syarhey Skrabets, deputy chairman of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Hramada), told ERB.


"We rejected the idea of staging a street protest because we are busy preparing for the parliamentary election. It would not be good if our activists were thrown to jail for 20-25 days and miss part of the campaign. It would be unwise, in our opinion," Skrabets said.


July 27 was official Independence Day in Belarus before the 1996 controversial referendum. The holiday marked the adoption of the Declaration of Sovereignty by the Supreme Soviet in 1990, a major step to independence gained in 1991.