Podpora Beloruskemu PEN Centru

Slovenski center PEN je podprl izjavo Mednarodnega PEN o dogodkih v Belorusiji.


Draft Statement on Belarus – for sign on by PEN Centres


[Please respond by 12 February 2021]

Over the past six months since the highly flawed election of President Alexander Lukashenko to a sixth term of office, thousands of people have taken to the streets in peaceful protest. Hundreds have been detained, many more have been beaten by police and others have lost their livelihoods for taking part. Writers, artists, musicians and performers have played a central role in the protests, using their art as cultural resistance to the oppression. They have staged theatrical and street performances, held public readings, written poetry or simply lent their public support to and took part in the protests.

For this they have suffered terrible consequences. Between August and December 2020, over 590 writers and artists have been attacked, with over 230 detained and many suffering beatings and torture. Others have been attacked in the streets by police and pro-government supporters, leading in one case to a tragic death, that of artist Roman Bondarenko. Others found themselves forced to resign or dismissed from their jobs, losing contracts and having performances and readings cancelled because of their engagement in the opposition. Their persecution continues today.

The scale of the repression against the cultural sector, alongside that of many others from across civil society and the media who also took part in mass protests, is unprecedented in the recent history of Belarus. In its centenary year, PEN International and its member centres are dismayed to see the perpetuation of the oppression of writers and artists who stand up for the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful protest

We call on the Belarus authorities for an immediate halt to the abuse of fundamental rights of all those who speak out. We also appeal to all governments worldwide to strongly condemn and demand an end to attacks against of writers, artists and cultural workers in their attempt to raise their concerns about and combat injustice.


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