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Monday, August 29, 2016

The Photos The Belarusian KGB Doesn't Want You To See

Published 5 April 2013

Two Belarusian photographers have been summoned to court after being accused of organizing an "extremist" photo exhibition.

Yulia Darashkevich told RFE/RL's Belarus Service on April 5 that she and her colleague Vadzim Zamirouski face trial in the western city of Ashmyany on April 17. Darashkevich said the official letter she received from the KGB says experts found that some pictures in their Press Photo Belarus 2011 exhibit were extremist and did not reflect "the real situation in Belarus." The offending photographs were not specifically identified.

The letter states that: "... Press Photo Belarus 2011 includes premeditated [and] distorted ideas about activities in the political, economic, social, and other spheres of the Republic of Belarus.... The selection of the photo album's materials in general reflects solely negative aspects of the Belarusian nation's activities...which...insult the national honor and dignity of the citizens of the Republic of Belarus.... In accordance with Article 1 of the Law of the Republic of Belarus, any activities of citizens aimed at insulting the national dignity and honor are considered as extremist."

Darashkevich says all the photographs were taken in different parts of Belarus and do not contain anything that might be considered extremist.

Belarusian border guards confiscated 42 copies of the Press Photo Belarus 2011 catalog from Darashkevich and Zamirouski in November 2012 when the two were returning from exhibitions in the European Union. Press Photo Belarus is an annual independent photo project. (24 PHOTOS)


Baptism by photographer Natallya Ablazhey


Owl chicks by photographer Natallya Ablazhey


Conscripts in Barysau in the Minsk region participate in the mandatory watching of the news program called "Panorama" on state-run TV. Photo by Syarhey Gudzilin


Workers handle the remains of German soldiers killed in World War II near the Belarusian village of Shchatkava. Photo by Vasil Fyadosenka


Marriage in an Orthodox church in Myadzel by photographer Uladzimer Nikalaychyk


A mother arrested during antigovernment protests awaits information on the whereabouts of her son. Photo by Tatsyana Zyankovich


Tennis player Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark jokes around during a charity match against Belarusian tennis player Victoria Azarenka. Photo by Viktar Drachou


Two people try on hats at a street market in the village of Khvayensk, about 270 kilometers south of Minsk. Photograph by Viktar Drachou


Performers at a neon show in Minsk. Photo by Natallya Ablazhey


Students at a military school in Minsk Oblast after taking the cadet's oath. Photo by Aleh Rubchenya


Former presidential candidate Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu campaigns in December 2010. Photo by Henadz Mazhayka


Husky dogs hunting a boar by photographer Alyaksey Matsyushkou.


A play is performed at the Minsk Academy of Arts. Photo by Alena Zhukava


Police disperse antigovernment protests in Minsk in December 2010. Photo by Syarhey Gapon


Horses graze in a field near the village of Navasyolki. Photo by Alyaksandr Vasyukovich


Candles illuminate graves in the village of Baruny in western Belarus. Photo by Alyaksandr Vasyukovich


The morning Minsk-Brest train by photographer Viktar Baykouski.


At the National Arts Museum in Minsk during an exhibition by artist Barys Zaborau. Photo by Vyachaslau Tsuranau


A woman tries to hear what her relative in a police bus is saying following an antigovernment protest in Minsk. Photo by Vasil Fyadosenka


Portrait of author Uladzimer Arlou by photographer Andrey Lyankevich


A wash with a water cannon on Islach River. Photo by Uladzimer Nikalaychyk


A tense moment in a football match between Dynamo Brest and Dynamo Minsk in Brest Stadium. Photo by Viktar Baykouski


Christmas decorations are silhouetted on a TV screen in a Minsk nightclub during President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's New Year's address to the nation. Photo by Dzmitry Klyapitski


A woman on a farm takes a rest after harvesting wheat on a sunny day in the village of Yuryeva, north of Minsk. Photo by Viktar Drachou