Mother tongue love

Protest>> Language • Belarus

Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

A Belarusian activist has been jailed for five days after staging a demonstration aimed at protecting the Belarusian language.

Minsk-based sculptor Henik Loyka was arrested on February 22 after he unfolded a poster saying, “Congratulations on International Mother Language Day! Lyceum No. 4 used to be a Belarusian School.” After his protest, Loyka told journalists the “Russification of Belarusian schools in our country is under way and we have to stop it.” Both are designated as official languages in the Belarusian Constitution, but the Russian language predominates in the country.

Loyka was charged with holding an unapproved public protest and sentenced the same day.

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