2011: Belarus: Vladimir Neklyaev

10th January 2011

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

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

Protesterer mot overgrep i Minsk

En av opposisjonens presidentkandidater, den kjente hviterussiske poeten Vladimir Neklyaev – tidligere leder for Hviterussisk PEN og den hviterussiske forfatterforeningen, er et av offrene for myndighetenes overgrep.  I en egen appell til president Lukashenko, sier Polsk PEN blant annet:

We are appealing to the Belarus authorities for the immediate release of the poet and for securing that he receives the necessary medical care. We are appealing for a stop to the brutal repressions against opposition activists and supporters as well as journalists and for guaranteeing adherence to civil liberties, in accordance with the ideals expressed in the International PEN Card which says: «P.E.N. stands for principle of unhampered transmission of thought within each nation and among all nations, and members pledge themselves to oppose any form of suppresion of freedom of expression in their country or their community. P.E.N. declares for a free press and opposes arbitrary censorship in time of peace. It believes that the necessary advance of the world toward a more highly organized political and economic order renders free criticism of goverments, administrations and institutions imperative».

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