Thursday, April 24, 2014


Transmission

Porn Segment, Banned Rock Lands Belarusian TV Technician In Trouble

Belarusian group Lyapis Trubetskoy are banned in their home country.
Belarusian group Lyapis Trubetskoy are banned in their home country.
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Viewers of Belarus’s music television channel BelMuzTV got more than they bargained for on the afternoon of April 13 when the station aired a 10-minute segment from a pornographic film. 

Red-faced station managers said the clip was put on the air by a disgruntled 28-year-old video technician, who had also reportedly initially defied authorities by broadcasting several music videos by the banned Belarusian rock band, Lyapis Trubetskoy.

BelMuzTV is also broadcast on large television screens in public squares, shopping malls, and restaurants.

On April 15, law enforcement officials detained the 28-year-old suspect after locating him in the eastern town of Mahileu. They have now opened a criminal case against him for breaking a law that prohibits displaying pornographic materials using public telecommunications networks.

It is illegal to produce, distribute, or promote pornography in Belarus. Doing so is punishable by up to four years in prison.

According to Investigative Committee official Alyaksandr Herasimau, the video technician told the authorities that he broadcast the clip because he was in a "depressed mental state" after an argument with a girl.

Lyapis Trubetskoy, which remains popular in post-Soviet countries,is banned in Belarus for its open agitpop criticism of Belarus’s authoritarian leader, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

According to reports in the Belarusian media, one of the songs broadcast on BelMuzTV was the 2010 single "Play!"

"Even if there are dark and fearful times now, spring will return to our homeland," the song goes.

One of the band's most famous videos, "Capital" is a psychedelic compilation of animated images featuring late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro of Cuba, Iran's Mahmud Ahmadinejad, and Belarus’s Lukashenka.

WATCH: Lyapis Trubetskoy's "Capital"


In an April 14 video message published on the band’s website, lead singer Syarhey Mikhalok stated that that Lyapis Trubetskoy had nothing to do with the BelMuzTV  incident.

WATCH:  Lyapis Trubetskoy singer Siarhei Mikhalok makes a statement on behalf of the band


-- Deana Kjuka
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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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