Swedish Journalists and Public Activist Denied Entrance to Belarus

2004 2004-02-26T10:00:00+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Based on information of RFE/RL

The Swedish citizen Tobias Lungval was invited to the trial in Belaaziorsk, connected with additional election to Belaaziorsk Town Deputy Soviet. The trial was to have started on 25 February.

On 23 February Tobias Lungval received the entrance visa at Belarusian Embassy in Stockholm and on 24 took a plane to Minsk from Vienna. In his interview to RFE/RL he said what happened to him at the airport “Minsk-2”. While checking my passport, a custom officer looked at the computer display, then at some papers and called the head of the shift. He showed him the display and then whispered something. The head of the shift took my passport and went somewhere. I had to wait for quite a long time till he returned. He said that I was denied entrance to Belarus. I asked what the reason was. They couldn’t or didn’t want to explain it to me.”

The worker of the press center of the State Committee of Border Forces of Belarus Uladzimir Nestsiarovich explained to the RFE/RL correspondent that, according to the international practice, a country that denies entrance to anybody can do it without explaining the motives for its decision.

Tobias Lungval knows the situation in Belarus. A year ago issued his book, devoted to Belarus, with the circulation of 3 000 copies. The book contains his own observations (he was in Belarus for 18 times), numerous interviews and speculations.

In the end of October and beginning of November 2003, during the election to Belaaziorsk Town Deputy Soviet, Tobias Lungval, who is also a member of the international board of Swedish Liberal Party, participated as an observer. This time he was ready to answer any questions of Belaaziorsk judges, but, pitifully enough, he was deprived of the possibility to do it.