Minsk art director Papa Bo, his two colleagues detained

On Friday, pro-Lukashenka Telegram-channel Yellow Plums has published a video which shows Alyaksandr Bahdanau aka Papa Bo giving ‘confessional’ testimony.

Аlyaksandr Bahdanau. Screenshot: zheltyeslivy / Telegram

In such ‘repentant’ videos published on this channel, people often look bad and have signs of beating. There are no visible traces of torture on Bahdanau’s face and hands, but his eye movements show that he has difficulty reading the text.

Bahdanau was reportedly detained by officers of the notorious GUBOPiK/GUBAZiK, now he is being held in a temporary detention facility. It is unknown what his status is and whether he has been charged under some criminal article.

According to the non-state Belarusian Council of Culture, Bahdanau was detained on September 2 along with scene designer Maksim Kruk and event manager Lizaveta Neumyarzhytskaya. A DJ console was seized from Bahdanau. On September 3, they were tried for ‘production, storage and distribution of extremist materials’, but the case was sent back for revision.

In 2020, Papa Bo repeatedly took part in protest marches; with the help of his DJ set, he played music for the protesters and called the action #MusicIsWeapon.

He is also a promoter of Belarusian music groups, including Cassiopeia, Silver Wedding, Addis Ababa, Port Mone, Shuma. In addition, he founded the Korpus cultural centre in Minsk and became its art director. In January, the riot police stormed into Korpus; security forces searched the office of the Makeout organisation. Then Korpus continued to work. However, on September 2, the centre was closed, the reasons for that have not been specified yet.

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