Belarus: Gay Clubs Raided In Belarus, Patrons Detained By Police

Two nightclubs popular with LGBT patrons were raided in Belarus, where police harassed and detained numerous patrons.

“The reports out of Belarus are alarming. It is alarming that police targeted legal businesses, violated the privacy of their patrons, demanded personal information, and dragged some away to detention,” said Human Rights First’s Shawn Gaylord. “The U.S. government should raise these issues with their Belarusian counterparts and make it clear that the United States will not stand by while already-marginalized communities are targeted and attacked.”

Gaylord cited growing persecution of LGBT communities in the region—following reports of anti-gay purges in Chechnya, Azerbaijan, and the launch of a gay “registry” in Tajikistan.

This isn’t the first time gay clubs have been raided in Belarus, which decriminalized homosexuality in 1991: In January 2013, several venues were hit by police after an LGBT rights group tried to register as an officially recognized NGO. (Without such recognition, GayBelarus cannot operate legally.) Read more via NewNowNext