Minsk authorities ban opposition concert

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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.