International stars are loath to give concerts in Belarus

Society
"Dissidents say pop stars: Do not sing in Belarus" — an article under the headline published Saturday in the British newspaper «Independent».

"The Belarusian dissidents call for boycott of international stars in Belarus protest the imprisonment of hundreds of pro-democracy activists.

Shakira and Moby, singers, traditionally support the progressive political movement, in the next two months to give concerts in Minsk. Human rights activists urged them to abandon those plans. Rock band Deep Purple, which has a loyal following in the former Soviet republics, is due to speak in public "Minsk-Arena" on Sunday, "- says Independent.

The paper recalls the events of recent months in Belarus, where more than 700 pro-democracy activists were arrested during the violent suppression of the opposition forces, "the last dictatorship in Europe." Almost all politicians who dared to speak out against Alexander Lukashenko, was charged with organizing mass disorder, for which they face long prison sentences. Belarus is the only country in Europe which has the death penalty.

Known dissidents reacted with dismay to the fact that, despite continued pressure on the democratic forces and widespread violations of human rights, the pop star is still willing to act in Belarus, a country where 80 percent of the industry — including almost all of the largest stadiums in which to act — belong to the state.

Throughout the modern history of outstanding singers, athletes and musicians have always taken a principled position on the countries in which human rights were violated, and where there was no freedom and justice.

"I was shocked when I heard that these artists come to perform in Russia, — says Irina Bogdanova, Sister concluded presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov. — Throughout the modern history of outstanding singers, athletes and musicians have always taken a principled position on the countries in which human rights were violated, and where there was no freedom and justice. "

Natalia Kolyada, member of the group «Free Belarus Now», which represents the families of those who had been arrested by the Belarusian authorities, said: "We appeal to artists to cancel their concerts in Belarus because any visit would mark the dictator Alexander Lukashenko that kidnappings, killings and torture in KGB prisons are acceptable. "

Activists have expressed particular surprise that Shakira and Moby — who in the past opposed the violation of human rights — have agreed to serve in Minsk.

Colombian singer Shakira— "Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF», runs his charitable foundation for children and regularly speaks in support of progressive politicians in Latin America and the United States. Last year, she was one of a number of famous celebrities who have opposed the controversial immigration law in Arizona. American composer Moby previously played for Move On — American charity organization that raises money for progressive politicians, he also helped set up a fund to raise money for Tibet.

Shakira's concert — is part of its global tour «The Sun Comes Out», scheduled for May 19 in "Minsk-Arena". Belarusian websites have already started selling tickets for the concert Moby which should held on June 12 at the official website of Moby its still there.

Representatives of both artists so far not responded to repeated requests for comment on the Independent editorial, or comfortable to them to act in Belarus, taking into account the human rights situation in the country.

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