2011: Belarus: Vladimir Neklyaev

10th January 2011

President of the Republic of Belarus
Alyaksandr G. Lukashenka
Karl Marx Str. 38
220016 g. Minsk

Dear  President

Writer and former Belarusian PEN President, Vladimir Neklyaev, arrested and beaten

PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee is shocked by yesterday’s (19 December 2010) arrest and beating of Vladimir Neklyaev, writer, former President of the Belarusian PEN Centre, and Belarus presidential elections candidate. His present whereabouts are unknown and there is deep concern for his well being. The Belarusian PEN Centre has issued an appeal, below. PEN calls for the immediate disclosure of Neklyaev’s whereabouts and that he be released. It further calls for him to receive all necessary medical treatment as a matter of urgency.

Statement by the Belarusian PEN Centre Council

The Belarusian  PEN Centre strongly condemns acts of violence against the honorary chairman of the Belarusian PEN Centre and presidential candidate Vladimir Neklyaev.

On the evening of 19 December he was brutally beaten by security services (doctors later diagnosed brain injury). Unconscious, Vladimir Neklyaev was taken to hospital from where he was kidnapped a few hours later by unknown persons. The present whereabouts of Neklyaev is unknown.

The Belarusian PEN Centre demands an urgent determination of Neklyaev’s fate and for guarantees that he is receiving full qualified medical care. We demand an investigation of the beatings and abduction against the honorary chairman of Belarusian PEN Centre.

We appeal to Belarusian and international human rights organizations, PEN International and the national PEN centers to join our calls for

Yours sincerely

Annaguli Yildam,
Member of Norwegian PEN, WiPC