Updated at 21:04,23-03-2021

Polish rock musician denied Belarusian visa


Polish rocker Dariusz Malejonek had his application for a Belarusian visa rejected because of his band's participation in a concert in Kyiv's Independence Square in a show of solidarity with Ukrainian anti-government protesters this past January, according to Poland's daily Gazeta Polska Codziennie.

Mr. Malejonek, 52, and his band Maleo Reggae Rockers had planned to take part in a Christian music festival near Minsk in late July.

"After receiving the list of acts scheduled to play in the festival, Belarusian authorities said that we were politically biased as we had played in Kyiv's Maidan," said Mr. Malejonek with reference to the festival's organizers.

"If my name is on some list compiled by Belarusian authorities, that means that they attach a big importance to my music, they are concerned about it," the paper quoted the musician as saying. "That reminds me of the 1980s, when music in the Polish People's Republic was a weapon of sorts. Today the Belarusian regime is afraid of music, afraid of words. They view free culture as something dangerous."

When reached by BelaPAN, a representative of the Belarusian embassy in Poland declined to comment on the matter.