18 September 2020
The Society of Authors has condemned the arrests of Belarusian authors in the wake of peaceful protests in Minsk earlier this month.
According to reports by English PEN and CEATL, three prominent members of Belarus PEN were detained during protests on 8 September 2020, which follow highly contested elections in the country on 9 August 2020.
- For more on the SoA’s response to the elections, including our letter to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab MP, click here.
- Background to the presidential election in Belarus, its outcome and what has happened since can be found here in the House of Commons Library briefing paper dated 8 September 2020.
The authors arrested include Belarus PEN secretary, poet, and translator Hanna Komar; project manager, poet, and translator Uladzimir Liankievic; and translator Siarzh Miadzvedzeu.
Komar was subsequently jailed for nine days for ‘violation of the order of organization and holding of mass events’ under 23.34 part 1 of the Belarusian Code of Administrative Offenses.
The SoA stands with English PEN and CEATL in condemning the authors’ arrests and those of the fellow citizens engaged in peaceful protests in the strongest possible terms.