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Belarusian Authorities Scupper Yet Another Symbolic Protest

Belarusian opposition activist Mikola Charnavus has been told to hold his breath.
Belarusian opposition activist Mikola Charnavus has been told to hold his breath.
BARANAVICHY, Belarus -- Riding a bike is out. So is clapping. Now a Belarusian opposition activist has been banned from breathing deeply as a form of protest.

Mikola Charnavus from the town of Baranavichy planned to stage a two-hour long "deep breathing" protest in front of the town's monument to Lenin to protest the local authorities' refusal to rent him a former collective farm.

Charnavus explained in his application for the "breathing protest" that he had chosen this form of dissent because "protest actions involving bicycle riding, walking in a village, applauding, roaring, or mooing are banned in this country."

But officials in the central town denied him permission on November 28.

The Baranavichy mayor's office explained in their rejection letter that Charnavus's application "violates the law on holding public events, as the place he has chosen to hold this activity may not be used for public actions."

Last month, the authorities in Baranavichy denied Charnavus permission to hold an antigovernment bike-ride protest.

-- RFE/RL's Belarus Service

Read more in Belarusian here

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