English Professor Alan Flowers Is Deported from Belarus
Professor of Kingston University Alan Flowers was deported from Belarus. He is prohibited to enter the territory of Belarus for five years. None of the workers of Minsk Partyzanski Borough Passport and Visa Service answered why.
On 31 July workers of Minsk Partyzanski BPVS completed the procedure of deportation. They familiarized Alan Flowers with the ruling, according to which he is to leave Belarus by 3 August. In his passport they put a seal that prohibits to the professor to cross the borders of Belarus for the next five years. They let the scientist leave Belarus on his own, as he had a ticket Vilnus-London for 2 August.
We should remind that Alan Flowers came to Belarus on 9 July on invitation of Belarusian State University. He visited Belarus for 12 years within the limits of cooperation of Kingston University with Belarusian scientific institutes in the fields of education, culture and science and made a such a great contribution for relations between the two countries that Belarusian Embassy in Great Britain presented to him yearly multi-entrance visa free-of charge.
Alan Flowers planned to leave for London on 2 August, but on 29 July, when he came for a meeting with the rector of Sakharov institute, he was met by two workers of Minsk Partyzanski BPVS and one KGB worker. They drew on him a report for violation of part 1 of article 185 of the Administrative Code (violations during registration of foreign citizen).
On the following day workers of Visa and Registration Department explained to Mr. Flowers and vice-consul of the British Embassy that there were no pretensions to Flowers’ registration and the reason for the deportation was that professor’s name was found in the list of the persons to who the entrance into Belarus was prohibited. The policemen explained they didn’t know why and when the name was included in the list.
Professor Flowers can’t understand why he became “persona non grata”. The scientists, artists and students who know the professor, are confused as well.
Alan Flowers has no pretensions to the police. He was surprised when the police told him that if he was a citizen of India or Pakistan, they would have taken his fingerprints during deportation:
-- The decision about deportation was filed in normal, polite form. The officers referred to good relations between Belarus and Great Britain and let me leave the country on my own. It’s a great pity that such things happen in Belarus. I have visited Belarus for 12 years and many people benefited from my initiatives in the fields of culture and science. The decision to stop my contacts with the people was taken by those who don’t understand that I did it all according to the wishes of Belarusian citizens. This decision won’t influence my desire to contact with the academic community of Belarus, students and teachers. At present information can be gathered and distributed in many ways. Impossibility of physical presence doesn’t deprive me of the possibility to contact with my colleagues in the country and work on cooperative projects. I am sure – the main result will be that such a situation nevermore repeats.
In the Passport and Visa Service Alan Flowers was informed that he could complain against the ruling for the deportation and could stay in Belarus during the consideration of the complaint.
Representatives of British Embassy visited Minsk Partyzanski Borough Board of Internal Affairs for two days. Now they don’t comment on this incident. However, they said they would have questions to Belarusian Embassy in London and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus.