Student Tried For National Flag At Belarus-Russia Match

2006 2006-06-13T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Today the court of Tsentralny district of Homel has issued an official warning to the student of the first year of Frantsysk Skaryna Homel state university, Zmitser Zhaleznichenka. The student is charged with using unregistered symbols during a friendly match between youth teams of Belarus and Russia. The student has been accused for supporting the Belarusian team with a white-red-white flag, the Radio Svaboda informs.

On May 16 a friendly match between youth teams of Belarus and Russia was held. Honoured guests including the head of presidential administration Henadz Nyavyhlas (who is the head of the Belarusian Federation of Football) and the chairman of Homel regional executive committee Alyaksandr Yakabson were at the match. The match ended in a draw.

However this ordinary match had serious repercussions for the young fan. Zmitser Zhaleznichenka, a first-year student of the applied mathematics faculty, who came to the stadium with a white-red-white flag, and he managed to see only the first time. When he left the stands in the pause, he was immediately detained by riot policemen.

The experience suggests that only outside Belarus it is safe to support a team with national symbols. During the latest hockey championship in Latvia the number of official red-green and historical white-red-white flags was almost the same. The same was observed in Finland a few years before.

In the semi-final of Davis Cup in the USA when Belarusian tennis players and US players met, the stadium was filled with national symbols exclusively.