Gay Rights in Belarus Could Dramatically Improve Within Four Years, Belarusian Activist Predicts
SHREWSBURY, October 16, 2011 – A gay activist from Belarus said yesterday that he personally felt that Gay Pride would be permitted by the authorities in “three or four years”.
Sergey Yenin, who is currently studying at a university in Warsaw, was speaking the UK Premier screening of Logan Mucha’s feature documentary about the lack of LGBT rights in Eastern Europe, East Block Love.
“The dictatorship and regime of Alexander Lukashenko weakens by the day,” he told UK Gay News. “There is a catastrophic economic situation right now and some people cannot even afford to buy food.”
Mr. Yenin agreed that most in the ‘sold out’ audience were visibly shocked at what they saw in the film.
“I can fully understand,” he said. “It’s the difference between what is happening in Western Europe and Eastern Europe.”
And he hoped that those seeing the film will never “take their freedoms for granted”.
The screening yesterday was a week ahead of the re-scheduled Minsk Gay Pride March. Mr. Yenin said that the Pride March had been banned by the Minsk authorities and as far as he knew there were no other Pride activities scheduled.
“I expect that there will be a few activists who will ignore the ban,” he said. “The will face arrest by the police, a fine or even imprisonment.”
The screening of East Block Love was part of the Shropshire Rainbow Film Festival and was sponsored by the West Mercia Police.
Attending was Chief Constable David Shaw, who said that the film was “a good reminder that we must never take anything for granted”.
He added that the film makes one realise that there is much to do in some European countries for LGBT rights.
“Britain can be, rightly, proud of how it looks after diverse ways of life,” he said. But he warned: There are still people out there who want to suppress different ways of life.”
■ East Block Love is to be screened at the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival on Wednesday October 19.
Exiled Belarusian Gay Activist Set to Visit UK to Attend UK Premier of Documentary Film East Bloc Love. Sergey Yenin, one of the featured gay activists from eastern Europe featured in the documentary East Bloc Love, will be attending the UK premier of the film at the sixth Shropshire Rainbow Film Festival next week. (UK Gay News, October 5, 2011)
BACK TO PAGE WITH GRAPHIC AND AUDIO OF INTERVIEW WITH SERGEY YENIN