Dissident Russian rockers Bi-2 held in Thailand fly to Israel

“All musicians of the Bi-2 group have safely left Thailand and are heading to Tel Aviv,” read the post.

Several members of the band have dual nationalities, including Israeli and Australian.

On Wednesday, the band said singer Egor Bortnik, known by his stage name Lyova – had already left Thailand to fly to Israel.

Russians fleeing Ukraine war give boost to Thai tourism, property sales

The band were held last week after they played a gig on Phuket, a southern island popular with Russian holidaymakers.

Thai officials said they were arrested for performing without the correct work permits and transferred to an immigration detention centre in Bangkok.

The organisers of the band’s Thailand concerts – which also included a show in the raucous beach resort of Pattaya – said all the necessary permits were obtained, but the band had been issued tourist visas in error.

VPI Event accused the Russian consulate of having waged a campaign to cancel the concerts since December, and said they had faced “unprecedented pressure” as they sought the band’s release.

Bi-2 are well known in Russia.
Several of their concerts were cancelled in 2022 after they refused to play at a venue with banners supporting the war in Ukraine, after which they left Russia.

One of the band’s founders has openly denounced the Putin government, saying it makes him feel “only disgust” and accusing the long-serving leader of having “destroyed” Russia.


Russian man who fled Putin’s draft stuck at South Korean airport for over 2 months

Russian man who fled Putin’s draft stuck at South Korean airport for over 2 months

Human Rights Watch (HRW) earlier this week urged Thailand to let the band go free, saying they would face “persecution” if returned to Russia – pointing to comments by a Kremlin foreign ministry spokeswoman accusing the band of “sponsoring terrorism”.

HRW said Russia’s foreign ministry last year designated frontman Bortnik a “foreign agent” for opposing the war in Ukraine

Exiled Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya weighed into the case on Wednesday, urging Thailand to “find a solution” to ensure the band’s freedom.

“I’m worried about the situation involving the Belarus-born rock band Bi-2,” she wrote on social media platform X (formerly Twitter).

“It’s now absolutely clear that Russia is behind the operation to deport the band.”

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button