15 October 2018, Monday, 14:30
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Rybak criticized for picture with Belarusian dictator

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The Norwegian press burst with critical articles regarding the singer’s indignant blog post.

Norwegian Belarusian Alexander Rybak posted his picture with Alyaksandr Lukashenka taken during his two-day visit to Minsk, the website mfront.net reports. Rybak is embracing Lukashenka and holding his thumb up.

The caption for the picture shocked the blog readers even more than the snap itself: “President of Belarus and I. Thanks to him, Minsk one of the prettiest and cleanest cities in Europe! Come here!” Rybak called.

Alexander Rybak’s managers don’t comment on the post; the singer is on his Europe tour.

Representatives of Amnesty International in Norway have already reacted to the picture. In particular, John Peder Egens told in an interview to kjendis.no that Rybak was “naive” and reminded critics of Rybak by Amnesty International for his contact with the last dictator in Europe in May 2009.

The reaction of the Norwegian Young Christian Democrats (KRFU) to the post in Rybak’s blog was negative. The organization leaders wrote an official statement on their website calling Rybak’s action “unwise” and said the Norwegian singer must “express solidarity with the Belarusians struggling for freedom, supporting democracy and not to show thumb up to the dictator!”

At night of October 1, after dozens of negative comments from the all over the world, the winner of Eurovision 2009 changed the text to the picture “This is me with the President of my native country”.