PEN centers stand together with our colleagues in Belarus in their fight for freedom of expression
PEN Norway, Swedish PEN and Danish PEN protest against the critical situation for democracy and freedom of expression in Belarus. We urge the Belarusian authorities to, immediately, cease the attack on PEN Belarus, which was recently threatened with closure, and the continues attacks on independent voices in the country.
One year after the manipulated elections that started the wave of protests in Belarus, the situation has worsened. The Belarusian regime continues the brutal repression, both inside and outside the country, and it is reported that many of the detainees have been tortured, and even killed. The Belarusian human rights organization Viasna notes that over 600 of the detainees are considered to be political prisoners.
We demand an immediate end to the violence, persecution and arrests that are incessantly directed at the Belarusian people, and the release of all writers, publishers and journalists arrested by the regime.
Kjersti Løken Stavrum, PEN Norway
Jesper Bengtsson, Swedish PEN
Per Øhrgaard, Danish PEN