One of this year's Ig Nobel Prize awards went to Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko and his country's policemen for their crackdown on "applauding in public."
The annual Ig Nobel Prize award ceremony for scientific research that "first makes people laugh, and then makes them think" was held at Harvard University on Thursday night.
The peace prize went to Lukashenko for making it illegal to applaud in public and to Belarussian policemen for "arresting a one-armed man for applauding."
Two years ago Belarussian opposition activists held several rallies in various cities, during which they were expressing their protest against government policies and a police crackdown on protest demonstrations by applauding. Policemen were reportedly detaining protesters for clapping their hands.
In July of 2011, a court in Belarus fined a one-armed man for taking part in unsanctioned "clapping" protests in Minsk. The man was found guilty by the court of clapping in a public place. The fact that the man was clapping was proved by one of the witnesses during the trial.
Ig Nobel Prizes are awarded in all Nobel Prize nominations — physics, medicine, literature, economics and peace. They are also awarded in other spheres, such as engineering, biology, and management.
The event is organized by the scientific humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research.