16 January 2018, Tuesday, 20:20

Harry Pahaniajla: Swedish police was sent by Belarusian officials


It is necessary to find out the opinion of Swedish authorities and clarify, who and why gave the order to remove the Belarusian supporters from the stadium.

This is how the head of the legal department of Belarusian Helsinki Committee (BHC) Harry Pahaniajla commented for the charter97.org web-site on the brutal removal of Belarusian supporters from the stands at the hockey game between Belarus and Slovenia for the attempt to unroll a white-red-white flag.

“In this case police maintains order in accordance with the instructions, given by the administration of a sporting site. We cannot link these actions to the Sweden’s state policy. This is the position of the local officials and people, responsible for holding the Ice Hockey World Championship. They did not manage to recognize what flag it was, and Belarusian officials acted against it at the official level and also those, who accompany the national team. The demarches of our authorities could lead to the situation when local sports representatives and those, who maintain public order, could take a decision on removing people with white-red-white flags from the stadium”, - the lawyer noted.

He emphasized that it is necessary to find out the opinion of Sweden’s authorities and clarify, who exactly gave such orders and why.

“I think these are incorrect actions. The white-red-white flag is registered as a historical symbol and is not officially banned in Belarus. There is nothing wrong in taking it to official events. I saw national flags myself at one of the games, and was very happy for our citizens. It contradicts neither law, nor morality, and also it did not and could not cause a violation of public order. All supporters use flags: national, state, sporting and club, and it is absolutely normal”, - the human rights activist stated.