Polish procuracy bans white-red-white flag

2011 2011-10-13T17:59:51+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Belarusian sports fans do not have the right to use Belarusian national white-red-white flags at international sports events in Poland.

This can be concluded from a reply of the Polish prosecutor’s office to the request of Belarusian sports fan Ihar Shchakarevich, the regional center “Cooperation without Borders” reports. He complained that a group of Belarusian fans was forbidden to raise Belarusian national flags at a basketball match between Belarus and Lithuania in Polish Bydgoszcz.

According to an answer from the prosecutor’s office a white-red-white flag is “not an obligatory national flag of Belarus”. For this reason, Belarusian fans did not have the right to use it during the match. Refusal of Shchakarevich to leave the venue was regarded by prosecutors as “active resistance to security guards”. The prosecutor’s office thinks using force against Shchkarevich was not an offense.

We remind that the incident took place at the European Women Basketball Championship in Bydgoszcz on 25 June. Belarusians had a match with Lithuanians. Polish security guards banned a group of Belarusian fans to raise white-red-white flags and then expelled them from the stadium.