In response to news that the Belarusian Justice Ministry intends to close down the Belarusian PEN Centre, Jennifer Clement, PEN International President, said:
‘For years the Belarusian PEN Centre has spoken out against the loss of freedom of expression around the world and one of its members, Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich, is a PEN Vice President. To see the Belarus Ministry of Justice turn on its own brave citizens is an act of censorship and injustice. The global PEN community stands with the writers and people of Belarus who demand democracy and basic human rights’.
PEN International calls on the Belarusian authorities to urgently end their crackdown on independent voices, to immediately and unconditionally release all those being held for peacefully expressing their views and to end raids, detentions, harassment, and attacks on all those exercising their rights to freedom of expression and association.
The full text is available at the PEN International site.
PEN Ukraine appeals to the government of Ukraine, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the UN Human Rights Council and other international human rights and humanitarian organizations in a call to support and protect the Belarusian PEN. At a time when thousands of people in Belarus continue to be held behind the bars, suffer harassment and torture, Belarusian human rights defenders are particularly at risk.
We stand in solidarity with colleagues from the Belarusian PEN and strongly condemn crackdowns and repressions exercised by the Belarusian self-proclaimed government against human rights organizations.
The full text is available at the PEN Ukraine site.
The Association of German Writers (VS in ver.di) and the PEN Centre of Germany condemn the attacks by the dictatorial regime of Lukashenka on the Association of Belarusian Writers and the PEN-Belarus Writers’ Organization in Minsk. Now the Ministry of Justice of Belarus is even starting to “liquidate” the Belarusian PEN-centre.
The full text is available at the ver.di site.
PEN America started the petition and proposed to show Belarus colleagues and friends at PEN Belarus that they are not alone — and that the international community rallies to support the freedom to write wherever and whenever it comes under threat.”
Sign PEN America’s petition.