Minsk authorities: No march, concert on Freedom Day

Minsk City Executive Committee has turned down the application for holding a march and concert on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the proclamation of Belarus’ nationhood.

The formal response says that the place of gathering and the route ‘does not comply with the law’.

Moreover, the officials state that the organising committee cannot submit a new application because its members were brought to administrative responsibility for violation of the order of holding mass events in 2017.

Earlier, the opposition endorsed a joint plan of celebrating the centenary of the proclamation of Belarus’ nationhood and lodged their application with Minsk City Executive Committee on January, 25. According to the their plan, the event was to start on March 25 in Yakub Kolas Square at 14.00; then they planned to hold a march along Independence Avenue and a gala concert in Freedom Square.

But the authorities said that the event might collide with a religious fair near Freedom Square. The officials informally offered the organisers to submit a new application for staging a rally and concert in the Yanka Kupala Park or near the Opera House. Opinions of the organising committee members divided: some were fo accepting the authorities’ proposal, others insisted on staging a march as well.


March 25, 2018 will be the 100th anniversary of the proclamation of the Belarusian People’s Republic. It came into existence at the end of the First World War, when Bolshevik forces left Minsk and the city was occupied by German troops. On March 25, 1918 the Provisional Government (Rada) proclaimed the independence of the BNR. After the Red Army re-entered Minsk, the Communist government replaced the Rada; its members had to emigrate.


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