Dozens of people with Belarusian white-red-white flags and journalists from Sweden’s leading media gathered outside the Globe arena in Stockholm to protest against unlawful discrimination of Belarusian fans.  

During the ice-hockey match between Belarus and Sweden, the initiative InfoBelarus and Swedish International Liberal Center arranged an action of protest after several fans from Belarus were violently forced to leave the match due to the fact that they had the Belarusian traditional white-red-white flag with them in the Globe arena. The large-size flag was forcefully taken away by guards that were called by the organizers of the match.

The incident gained broad attention in Sweden’s major media, many NGOs and politicians reacted immediately as it contradicts with one of the main human rights, such as freedom of expression. Moreover, the use of force against peaceful ice-hockey supporters doesn’t represent Swedish laws that strictly protect all types of human and civil rights.

Yesterday evening around 50 people gathered to express the protest against the unreasonable discrimination and unfair treatment of the Belarusian fans, as well as Belarusian national symbol.

The founder of Info Belarus, Isabel Sommerfeld, calls the Hockey Federations decision a ”political discrimination”, since no other flags, as for example the Soviet flag usually used by Russian fans, has been prohibited in the same way, and the organizer of the Hockey World Championship didn’t even react to these flags.

Reporting from Stockholm,
Juraś Stankievič & Isabel Sommerfeld