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Russian rock band arrested in Phuket face deportation


A Belarusian (some media report ‘Russian’) rock band Bi-2, sanctioned in Russia for its opposition to the war on Ukraine, has been arrested in Phuket.

The band, which includes 4 people with Israeli passports, was arrested for performing “without the appropriate authorisation”, following a concert in Patong.

All the band members were fined and taken to a detention centre in Bangkok, with their passports confiscated. It’s understood that some band members were travelling on Russian passports.

According to the report, Thai officials could deport the band to Russia, where they would face almost certain imprisonment due to their criticism of Russian leader Vladmir Putin and his war on Ukraine.

The band had a total of 7 members arrested, including Yegor Burtnik and Alexander Uman, who are both Israeli citizens. There are unconfirmed reports the band has another two Israeli citizens among its members but their names are not known.

Bi-2 has long criticised the Kremlin and has a history of its shows being cancelled, as well as other sanctions, as a result. Russia’s Justice Ministry has previously listed Burtnik as a “foreign agent”.

The fact that neither Burtnik nor Alexander have Russian citizenship further complicates the arrests for the Israeli foreign ministry according to the report.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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