Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev speaking Tuesday (August 28) during a meeting in front of the media in Minsk.
“You have come to a very friendly country where you are loved and respected for the great deeds which you have done — sometimes not standard ones — to support our country in hard times, connected with the issues of our state independence. Not only I personally know it and appreciate it very much, but the Belarusian people know it as well,” said Lukashenka.
And Aliyev responded…
“I’m glad to visit your wonderful country again and to have an opportunity to discuss the issues on the vast agenda of our bilateral relations again. Before we start discussing the issues in particular, I want to express our attitude to your country, to your people, which is based both on historic roots and friendly feelings.”
Being an athlete himself, Belarus’ strongman, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, is well aware of the pressures athletes will face at the upcoming Summer Olympics in London.
At a recent meeting with the staff of Belaruskali, Belarus’ most profitable company, Lukashenka, who heads the country’s National Olympic Committee, uttered a few inspirational words about the upcoming games…[read more]
Today is the International Day Against Homophobia, and in parts of RFE/RL’s broadcast regions, activities were marked with conflict.
# Despite Georgia’s recent positive ranking in gay rights by the Brussels-based NGO ILGA Europe, gay rights activists in Tbilisi scuffled with counterprotesters associated with the Union of Orthodox Christian Parents. (Watch Radio Tavisupleba’s video of the protests.)
# Would-be protesters in Belarus were thwarted by Minsk authorities who repeatedly denied their requests for permits to demonstrate, citing “technical” reasons and repair work near the locations.
#The social stigma attached to homosexuality is hardly unique to Azerbaijan. But as Daisy Sindelar reports, while Baku readies to host Eurovision — an event that has featured numerous gay participants — its stance on sexual minorities is coming under fresh scrutiny.
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. [READ MORE]
Report by RFE/RL’s Belarusian Service.
@RSF_RWB has added Belarus to its list of “Enemies of the Internet.”
In a report issued on March 11 to mark World Day Against Cyber-Censorship, the Paris-based media watchdog said Belarusian authorities tightened their grip on the Internet over the past year to curb what it called “revolution via the social media.” [read more]
Ron Synovitz interviews Czech Foreign Minister Karel Swarzenberg on the Belarus Boycott of the EU-Eastern Partnership Prague meeting on Monday, March 5.
Swarzenberg tells RFE/RL: “Well, they were invited to the meeting — the Visegrad Four with the Eastern Partnership neighbors because basically [Belarus is] one of the Eastern Partnership neighbors. But they declined to come. They said that they are not invited at the foreign minister’s level, which is true, due to the events — let’s put it that way — which happened in Minsk. And so they didn’t come. But they are still part of the [Eastern Partnership] program.”
VITSEBSK, Belarus — A judge in the eastern Belarusian city of Vitsebsk has ruled that Syarhey Kavalenka’s health is “satisfactory” and that the trial of the opposition activist can proceed.
As the trial got under way on February 21, relatives said they were shocked over Kavalenka’s frail appearance due to a hunger strike.
Kavalenka, who was arrested in December 2011 on charges of violating his parole conditions, was forcibly fed by prison guards in January but says he resumed his hunger strike 15 days ago…[See video]