‘They were on Kyiv’s Maidan’: Polish musician denied Belarusian visa

The Belarusian consulate denied a visa to Dariusz ‘Maleo’ Malejonek, the leader of Polish musical band Maleo Reggae Rockers. In January, 2014 the band performed on the stage of Kyiv’s Maidan in support of Ukraine’s Eurointegration. In April Maleo Reggae Rockers took part in concert Solidarity with Belarus- 2014 in Warsaw.

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Dariusz Malejonek was on the list of participants of the festival of Christian music in the town of Ivianets in late July. ‘Having received the list Belarusian officials immediately stated that we were politically engaged as we had performed at Maidan. The organisers suggested that Belarusian visas might not be granted to members of Maleo Reggae Rockers,’ Gazeta Polska Codziennie reports.

According to the musician, such response is typical for most post-Soviet countries. ‘If Belarusian officials put my name on some list it means that they make account of my music, they are concerned. This reminds me of the 1980s, when music was a kind of arms. Nowadays the Belarusian authorities are afraid of music and words. Free culture oses a threat, they believe,’ Mr Malejonek added.

The Belarusian Embassy to Poland refused to comment the situation.


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