Do Brest Youth Need Official Permission for Meeting With Foreigners?

2003 2003-04-29T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On 16-18 October Brest regional branch of the Public Association “Human Rights Center “Viasna” accepted 26 students of Uppsala University (Sweden). The students wanted to meet and acquaint with Belarusian youth. The student organization in their university organizes journeys, meetings with students from other countries, teachers, scientists, politicians and representatives of mass media.

On coming to Brest the students familiarized with work of Brest regional branch of the Public Association “Human Rights Center “Viasna”, visited Brest Musical College, where they were present at Zhylnovich Republican contest of Belarusian musical instruments, were fascinated by Belarusian dulcimer players. Head of the Board of Brest regional branch of the PA HRC “Viasna” applied to Rectors of Belarusian State University and Belarusian State Technical College, directors of Malaryta school No. 33 and Brest gymnasium No. 5 with the request to favor organization and holding of meetings of the students and pupils with Swedish students. Pitifully enough, the administrations of the educational establishments refused to do it, referring to the necessity of permission from Brest Regional Executive Committee. Despite these circumstances, Swedish students managed to visit a number of schools as private persons in small groups. The Swedes stayed for the nights at private houses of Belarusian families, 5 of the guests were in Malaryta. Thank’s to the deputy of Malaryta district U.U. Maley the foreigners managed to visit local schools and the former rocket base.

The branch also organized visits to editorial offices of the leading Brest newspapers, “Brestski Kurier” and “Viacherni Brest”, meeting with pupils and representatives of administration of Brest Musical College, Brest Art School. At the art school journalists of Brest TV studio “Buh-TV” interviewed the Swedish guests, the interview was broadcast on the TV.

On 18 April the students left Brest.

Many Brest citizens are indignant with behavior of Brest authorities, they are sure that their children don’t need any official permissions to make friends with foreign youngsters. They consider themselves citizens of a European country and are not going to let cut them off Europe and the future.

Uladzimir Vialichkin

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