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Gay Protests Not Allowed In Minsk

Belarusian gay rights activists have cast aspersions on the reasons why the authorities have nixed their planned rallies. (file photo)
MINSK-- Authorities in the Belarusian capital Minsk have prevented gay activists from holding protests to mark the International Day Against Homophobia on May 17.

The owner of an online portal focusing on gays in Belarus, Syarhey Androsenka, told RFE/RL that city authorities had rejected a request from the activists to hold three separate demonstrations -- in Peoples’ Friendship park, in front of the opposition Belarusian Popular Front party’s offices, and near the Nyamiha subway station.

He said the authorities cited "technical" reasons and repair work near the locations as reasons for denying the protests.

Androsenka says he believes the authorities' explanations are "far-fetched."
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    RFE/RL's Belarus Service is one of the leading providers of news and analysis to Belarusian audiences in their own language. It is a bulwark against pervasive Russian propaganda and defies the government’s virtual monopoly on domestic broadcast media.