back to article One-armed Belarus man monocuffed for clapping

It appears that Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko – faced with growing public demands that he naff off after 17 years at the helm of the former Soviet republic – is determined to go out in comedy gold style. Alexander Lukashenko According to this report, cops loyal to "Europe's last dictator" (pictured) have been …


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  1. Mako


    ...Belarus' police force is familiar with the Zen koan, "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      RE: Evidently...

      "Cl". The other hand makes the "ap".

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Where do they find these people?

    How do you manage to pluck from a street protest (which presumably has a largish number of people) the guy with one arm and a deaf-mute? Seriously, this reads like a Rowan Atkinson sketch.

    * awaits reports of charges of "wearing a loud shirt in a built up area", "walking on the cracks in the pavement" and the current favourite, "looking at me in a funny way" *

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      They probably arrest

      ...and fine anyone in the general vicinity of any protest. Nothing like that kind of thing to keep the populace obedient, eh?

    2. Oliver Mayes

      Don't forget...

      ..."Loitering with intent to cross the road" and "Being in posession of an offensive wife."

      1. Yet Another Commentard

        Constable Savage

        not forgetting "breaking and entering a boiled egg" and "grievous bodily odour".

        1. James Hughes 1

          No one's mentioned

          "urinating in a public convenience."

    3. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Not to mention

      Being tall in the presence of a police officer.

  3. George Nacht


    Not that I have a slightest sympathy for Lukashenko - I most definitely don´t.

    However, crap like this, making Russians look like benevolent and tolerant chaps in comparison, actually makes me wonder, how much of this is caused by direct orders from Lukashenko, and how many of it is work of overzealous bureaucratic drones, who knows, what is best for His Presidentnees, better than president himself.

    Just extrapolating from similar cases in history of my own country, mind you.

    This might be totally in line with Luhashenko´s orders...

    1. Peter Murphy
      Thumb Down

      The Cossacks work for the Tsar, alas.

      I have no doubt that Lukashenko has the powers of clemency for this hapless handless clapper. It would be cheap PR to give a pardon. It would also be a nice and reasonable thing to do. It would even be _gracious_, for old-fashioned royalist meaning of the word "grace" - "grace of the king", y'know.

      But people don't become dictators by being nice, reasonable or gracious, but by being nasty bastards. In this occasion, I could see Medvedev giving a pardon - and possibly even Putin, were he president again (given a few snickerings from foreigners to gibe him into action).

      But Luhashenko seems too small minded and stubborn to take the hint. There's too much of the "pocket Hitler" about him, to use an old British WWII term for petty authoritarian officials of the time. God designed him to be one of life's bus-ticket inspectors, but Satan gave him Belarus instead.

  4. Bilgepipe


    That bloody comb-over should carry a few extra years imprisonment, too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      He looks like

      an estate agent. Always knew estate agents were evil.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        An estate agent?

        More like the bastard child of Terry Bradshaw and George Costanza.

  5. The March Hare

    He's a Ron Jeremy look-a-like

    if you squint in the right way.... No?


    the grubby mac please...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      ...especially considering the Rowan Atkinson comments above, but I thought he looked like Inspector Grim from Gasforth Police Station...

  6. Adrian Jones

    At last!

    Can someone get over to Belarus and ask their police what the sound of one hand clapping actually is?

    1. david 63


      For the first Koan reference

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Very Zen and the Art of Political Protest

    I have nothing against a dissent clapping with one hand. Problem is, neither has he.

  8. Tegne

    If a one armed man claps in the woods and there's nobody around to hear...

    Does it make a sound?

    1. LuMan

      More importantly...

      ...if a mute man protests and there isn't a woman to hear him, is he still wrong??

  9. Anonymous Coward

    It's all got very zen?!

    Clapping with one hand, did he make a sound?

  10. Captain TickTock

    This is how you clap with one hand

    Substitute forehead

  11. Soruk

    Clapping with one hand...

    There's a [cl]ap for that.

  12. Anonymous Coward


    Perhaps next they'll arrest someone in a coma for starting a fight. Or a man with no legs for kicking someone?

    Where does it end?

    1. Captain Save-a-ho
      Black Helicopters

      Remember, remember

      the 5th of November...

  13. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    @Remember, remember

    Careful - there is an offence of promoting terrorism

    1. Martin 71 Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Hmm, chilling effects :-(

      See titular section

  14. Toastan Buttar

    Bart Simpson

    Bart ably demonstrated the sound of "one hand clapping" in episode "Dead Putting Society".

  15. alwarming
    Paris Hilton

    I thought that was a Zen Koan ?

    Sound of a one handed clap.

    Paris, coz she likes a clamp.

  16. Martin Usher

    Same thing seems to happen in London these days....

    I was just reading in the UK newspapers about the fines and stuff for the student loans protesters. That'll teach them to make a noise.

    As ever, its only bad if its their guy that's doing it. If its our guy then they're just preserving Peace and Freedom.

    As for the change in politicians I think we're all past this now -- we now know for sure that no matter who we vote for, the (same) government always gets in. Places like Belarus and Syria are just more honest about it.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      There is indeed a huge difference between unreasonable public nuisance fines, and 'Arrested for something obviously physically impossible and convicted by a judge who can see that but is intimidated by officers in the room'.

      They are orders of magnitude different, and this is actually an excellent counterpoint to the arms-flailing "We're no better than..." hysteria that is often seen.

      Pretending that things in the euro-zone / usa/canada are just as bad as in autocracy X only hurts the ability to fight real injustice, since people just look at web sites or comments and think, 'This is like Nazi Germany? Funny, I didn't think that gay Jews could get married there...." and dismiss claims of problems as melodrama.

  17. nsld

    clearly Kent Police

    Have been training the local plod over there as they are the past masters of arresting photgraphers for being too tall and similar made up non crime rubbish.

  18. Aaron Guilmette


    The auditory wizards in Belarus police department can also tell us what sound an unattended tree makes if it falls down in the forest.

  19. bugalugs

    for similair fun, games and hi-jinx

    take a ride on a train in Victoria Australia with one of our Conductors' Hitler*

    ( met him the other night )

    *Godwin's Exemption claimed

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Enough of the moustachioist discrimination

    As a fellow moustache user I resent your allegation that the Lukashenko dies his moustache but also that doing so should constitute an offence at law.

    First they came for the moustache wearers,

    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a moustache wearer.

    Next they came for the communists,

    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,

    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,

    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

    Then they came for me

    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    With apologies to Martin Niemöller

    And dear Lester Haines, can I remind you that "A kiss without a moustache is like an egg without salt" - as you'll find out if you get your girlfriend to shave hers off.

  21. Simon Mort-Adams

    It's obvious to me...

    ... where they've gone wrong. It's simply a dyslexia issue, nothing more, nothing less. The chap in question, 'Poor old Konstantin Kaplin' was labelled by the powers that be as Mr Klapin, so they threw the proverbial book at him.

    Simple as...

  22. Martin Maloney
    Paris Hilton

    I finally figured out...

    ...why el reg included the Paris Hilton icon in its collection.

    They anticipated that, at some future date, some one-armed bloke in Belarus might give her the clap.

    I'm leaving now...

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