Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Punished for Cleverness

May 17th, 2012 · 2 Comments

Your daily reminder of why Belarus shouldn’t be hosting the 2014 World Hockey Championship:

A Belarusian opposition activist has been sentenced to 15 days in jail for using a sign to mock a plainclothes security officer.

In the April incident, Ivan Amelchanka was photographed standing next to a man who was using a hand-held camera to film an opposition-organized march in Minsk. The activist’s placard contained the word “Musorok”—a Russian slang word that can be translated as “fuzz” or “pig.” It also had an arrow pointing in the direction of the officer.

Amelchanka was technically found guilty of “hooliganism,” which I find both sad and uproarious. Perhaps the Belarusian judiciary should read Among the Thugs to develop a more solid understanding of what “hooligan” actually means.


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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Jordan

    One of the post-docs in my lab is from Belarus. It was apparently a minor coup that both of her parents were able to attend her wedding here in the U.S. because the government doesn’t normally let both members of a couple leave the country at the same time.

  • Brendan I. Koerner

    @Jordan: That is ridiculously messed up. I am eternally suspicious of countries that feel compelled to prevent their citizens from escaping.