May 172012
Belarusian gay rights activists have cast aspersions on the reasons why the authorities have nixed their planned rallies

Authorities in the Belarusian capital Minsk have prevented gay activists from holding protests to mark the International Day Against Homophobia on May 17.

The owner of an online portal focusing on gays in Belarus, Syarhey Androsenka, told RFE/RL that city authorities had rejected a request from the activists to hold three separate demonstrations — in Peoples’ Friendship park, in front of the opposition Belarusian Popular Front party’s offices, and near the Nyamiha subway station.

He said the authorities cited “technical” reasons and repair work near the locations as reasons for denying the protests

Androsenka says he believes the authorities’ explanations are “far-fetched.”