Lutsk: The Right to Be Free Festival Takes Place
About two thousand people took part in the festival of Belarusian rock-music ”The Right to Be Free” in Lutsk, Ukraine. The Festival was held on September 22nd. Despite mass detentions, over 300 Belarusians managed to get to the event.
Detentions began on September 21st at Makarany border crossing. The border guards took the passports of the musicians who were to sing at the festival for a check and didn’t give them back for five hours. In the night the police detained two buses with young people, who were going to the festival, near Niasvizh and Dziarzhynsk. The police took the drivers’ documents and did not allow them to go farther. The people hitch-hiked to the Ukrainian border, and from there – to Lutsk. Some took local trains to Brest, and to Lutsk. “I don’t understand why the police hindered the trip. We stressed numerous times that the action was not political, -- one of the event organizers Vital Supranovich says. – I have great respect to the people who continued their trips after being put off the buses”.
The concert continued from 4 p.m. till midnight in the central park of Lutsk. The city authorities even helped to organize a tent camp for the festival participants. “Krama”, “ULIS”, “Neuro Dubel”, “Indiga”, “:В:N:”, “Tav. Mauzer”, “Sciana”, “Znich”, and the Ukrainian band “Tsin Sontsia” participated in the festival. The festival participants were greeted by Valiantsin Stefanovich, lawyer of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, representatives of the Belarusian minority in Ukraine, and Ihor Hus, member of Lutsk city council, responsible for youth affairs.
The festival “The Right to be Free” was held for the first time this September. It was organized by BMAgroup, the Belarusian Language Society, the unregistered youth initiative “Studfarmat”, and the European Radio for Belarus. The organizers hope, the festival of Belarusian rock-music will become an annual event. “We are already preparing a new festival, we negotiate with the authorities of other Ukrainian towns. The festival in Lutsk has taken place. Now we have something to present.”, -- Vital Supranovich stressed.