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Belarusian State Radio Reportedly Bans Politically Sensitive Song


A song by Viktor Tsoi has rubbed Belarusian authorities the wrong way.

A song by Viktor Tsoi has rubbed Belarusian authorities the wrong way.

State-controlled Belarusian Radio has reportedly banned a popular glasnost-era Soviet song by rebellious rocker Viktor Tsoi.

The song, titled "Peremen" (Change), features lines like "Our hearts demand change, Our eyes demand change" and requests for it have reportedly spiked in recent weeks as protests against the government of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka have gained steam.

The nonstate Belsat TV reported that a caller on a live Belarusian Radio program requested Tsoi's song and the presenter refused to play it. When the caller asked if the station had introduced censorship, the presenter ended the conversation.

Belsat also reported, citing an unnamed Belarusian Radio employee, that requests for several other politically suggestive songs have also increased dramatically in the past month.

People have been arrested just for turning up in a certain location in Belarus.
Over the last six weeks or so, opposition protesters in Belarus have developed increasingly ingenious ways of expressing their dissatisfaction with the government, using social media to organize demonstrations at which people simply stand on the street and clap their hands or set the alarms on their cell phones to ring at a set time.

Although none of these activities is illegal, the government has responded by detaining demonstrators and sentencing many of them to jail terms of up to 15 days.

When it was first released in 1986, "Peremen" was seen as a call to the younger Soviet generation to demand political change, and Soviet authorities tried to restrict it.

compiled from agency reports
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