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Belarusian PEN has joined the PENWrites letter-writing campaign


The English PEN has launched the PENWrites campaign to write letters to political prisoners.

On October 27, Hanna Komar, a poet, activist, and PEN Belarus Secretary, took part in the launch of PENWrites letter-writing campaign. The featured writers were Amanuel Asrat and Nedim Turfent, and the aim was to speak about them and the broader context in their home countries as well as about the importance of writing letter to the imprisoned writers and journalists. We’d like to share some feedback from the participants of the call:

On October 27th I was privileged to be part of an online link up to mark the launch of their PENWrites campaign. After listening to Hanna’s first-hand report on the crisis in Belarus I am writing this note of support of the many citizens who are calling for a more open society. Access to a plurality of opinions and ideas is a fundamental right for us all. 

Wishing you strength, courage and hope at this pivotal point in your country’s future. Keep fighting for freedom of expression. (Mary)

The challenges that you face are unimaginable to me. The political and social turmoil and repression that you have to deal with inconceivable. The right to freedom of thought and expression are fundamental rights that should be inalienable; sadly in too many countries they are not. Keep hope alive. (Paul)

To all at PEN Belarus, just a small gesture of solidarity. Your fight to open up your society is an inspiration. In these challenging times it is a fight we must all heed wherever we are.

Wishing strength and solidarity with all of you an PEN Belarus. Thank you for all you are doing to fight for freedom of expression. 

Sending strength and solidarity to all at PEN Belarus, please know we are thinking about you. Best wishes.

You have friends around the world standing shoulder to shoulder with you. 

Thank you to all at PEN Belarus for your important work. I hope you will soon be free to express your views peacefully without fear of reprisal. I wish you all the courage and strength you need. (Helen)

I am inspired by your courageous stand in support of freedom. You are the shining light for others of us who care about the voice of all the forgotten and overlooked. Stay strong.