A Street Musician Received 15 Days of Arrest for Singing «Protest Songs» in Belarus
OREANDA-NEWS. The 20-year-old street musician Ivan Pireiko received 15 days of arrest for singing «protest songs» in Belarus. The guitar, microphone and microphone stand were also seized. This is reported by the human rights center «Viasna», which has been deprived of registration in Belarus.
The musician was detained on April 2 at the metro station «Kamennaya Gorka», where he sang songs with a guitar as part of the project «Pedestrian». The police received a call from a «not indifferent citizen», who reported that «three people sing political songs». There were songs in the Belarusian language, which glorified the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Belarusian People's Republic (BNR) and used the expression «We Will Win». «Not indifferent citizen» considered, that Ivan Pireiko's songs «call for rebellion».
The police drew up a report on him under part 1 of Article 24.23 «for picketing with the songs». A police witness in court claimed, that the musician was detained after a song about the BNR and the words «We Will Win».
Ivan Kireiko pleaded not guilty. He explained, that he only learned about the centenary of the BNR on Akrestin: in the cell he was told, that the date was celebrated about three years ago. In court, the musician said, that he sang songs in English, Russian and Belarusian, and he was detained when he performed a song by Max Korzh.
Ivan asked the judge not to order his arrest — according to him, he is ill and must undergo treatment. Judge Maria Erokhina issued a decision — 15 days of arrest, and also seized his guitar, microphone and microphone stand.