Belarusian activist saved from army conscription

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Alexander Paluyan, the 23-year-old gay activist and editor of Belarusian LGBT website, will no longer be called up to join the country’s military.

It had been reported that Paluyan was to report to a military base in Mozyr on January 9th, after a change in law meant that he was no longer exempt from the army because of a medical condition.

News of Mr Paluyan’s conscription was widely reported through the Belarusian LGBT community, and lead to the Belarusian Initiative for Sexual and Gender Equality planning a protest in front of a local military department.

Generally when someone called up for military duty in Belarus states they are homosexual they are identified as having a “psychiatric disease.” Mr Paluyan is reportedly the only person exempt from military duty without being diagnosed with a mental illness.

In an email to GayRussia Mr Paluyan said:

“It is good that everything was done on time and many thanks to everyone for support which I received from friends and colleagues.

“Without their help I would now be wearing the military boots.”

Meanwhile activists have launched a campaign with the aim of getting the Ministry of Defence to reduce homophobia within the Belarusian army.