Petitie PEN International

PEN Nederland is een van de ondertekenaars van de internationale petitie waarin de autoriteiten van Belarus wordt opgeroepen een einde te maken aan het grootscheeps inperken van de fundamentele vrijheden van mensen – zoals schrijvers, journalisten, kunstenaars – die zich tegen het bewind in Minks uitspreken. Momenteel vindt in het land een ware heksenjacht tegen opposanten plaats.

Lees hieronder de hele tekst van de petitie, of klik hier om het hele dossier van PEN International over Belarus te lezen.


Belarus: PEN Centres world-wide call for an end to the abuse of fundamental rights of those who speak out against repression

Over the six months since the rigged election of August 2020, thousands of people have taken to the streets of Belarus 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 an important 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 taken part in the protests.

For this, they have suffered terrible consequences. Between August and December 2020, according to a recent PEN Belarus report, over 590 writers and artists have been persecuted, 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 have 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 protests. 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. 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 Belarusian authorities for an immediate halt to the abuse of fundamental rights of all those who speak out. We also appeal to governments worldwide to strongly condemn and demand an end to attacks against writers, artists, and cultural workers in clear retaliation for their attempts to raise their concerns and combat injustice.

PEN International
PEN America
PEN Austria
PEN Bangladesh
PEN Belarus
PEN Belgium – Flanders
PEN Belgium – French Speaking
Croatian PEN
Cuban Writers in Exile PEN Centre
Czech PEN
English PEN
PEN Esperanto
Estonian PEN
Danish PEN
German PEN
PEN Georgia
Ghana PEN Centre
Independent Chinese PEN Centre
Iranian PEN Centre in Exile
Irish PEN/PEN na hÉireann
PEN Latvia
PEN Lebanon
PEN Club Liechtenstein
Lithuanian PEN
PEN Melbourne
PEN Moscow
NZSA Te Puni Kaituhi o Aoteroa (PEN New Zealand)
PEN Norway
PEN Nederland
PEN Perth
Polish PEN Club
PEN Portugal
PEN Québec
Romanian PEN Centre
Russian PEN
San Miguel PEN
Serbian PEN Centre
St-Petersburg PEN
Suisse Romand PEN Centre
Swedish PEN
Trieste PEN
PEN Turkey
PEN Ukraine
PEN Venezuela
Vietnamese Abroad PEN Centre
PEN Zimbabwe