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Belarusian Man Busted For 'Pornography' Over Rammstein Video Post


The Belarusian Council for Public Morals has in the past protested about Rammstein's concerts in the country. (file photo)

HRODNA, Belarus -- Posting a video on the Internet years ago of the German industrial metal band Rammstein has landed a man in Belarus in hot water with authorities who have charged him with producing and distributing pornographic materials.

Andrey Halavenka told RFE/RL on April 11 that local police had informed him about an investigation launched against him two days earlier.

According to the 24-year-old resident of the western city of Hrodna, he barely remembers posting the clip in 2014 on his account with the Russian social-media site VKontakte.

"I simply forgot about that clip. If [police] hadn’t summoned me I would not have known about its existence," Halavenka said.

In March, the State Committee of Criminal Expertise banned the video of the Rammstein song, titled Pussy, judging it contained "pornographic elements."

Halavenka could face four years in prison if found guilty.

The German rock band have faced problems in Belarus in the past.

In 2010, the Belarusian Council for Public Morals protested against Rammstein's concerts in the country that year, saying the band's shows were "open propaganda of homosexuality, masochism, and other forms of perversions, violence, cruelty and vulgarism."

"At the group's concerts, there are demonstrations of sexual intercourse between males, ejaculations, and imitation of the Nazis," the council said.

Rammstein are no strangers to controversy.

Last month, a video for the group's new song Deutschland showed band members dressed as concentration camp prisoners. It sparked outrage, especially among Jewish groups.

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