People of Word (32)
18 May 2023

Over 100 Nobel Laureates join PEN International in support of Nobel Peace Prize winner Ales Bialiatski

21 May 2023 – PEN International, the literary and free expression organisation, has released a letter signed by 103 Nobel Laureates, expressing solidarity with writer, human rights defender, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and PEN member Ales Bialiatski, and condemning the Belarusian authorities’ brutal, relentless, and systematic crackdown on independent voices. Today marks the International Day of Solidarity with Prisoners of Conscience in Belarus.
15 March 2023

PEN International calls to release writer and journalist Andzej Poczobut

Writer and journalist Andrzej Poczobut is serving an eight-year sentence in a medium-security penal colony on trumped up charges of inciting hatred and encouraging sanctions aimed at harming the national security of Belarus. A dual Belarusian-Polish national, Poczobut was arbitrarily detained on 25 March 2021 and spent almost two years behind bars before his unfair sentencing. He is said to have serious health problems and to be routinely denied access to correspondence, especially in Polish. According to his family, he was recently sent to solitary confinement for seven days. The reason for this punishment is not yet known.  
3 March 2023

PEN Centers Condemn Belarusian Court’s Verdict in Trial of Writer Ales Bialiacki

PEN America, PEN Belarus, PEN Armenia, and PEN Moscow Make Joint Statement on International Writers for Peace Day.
3 March 2023

Join PEN International and PEN Belarus statement in solidarity with Ales Bialiatski

3 March: Today a court in Minsk sentenced writer, Nobel Peace Prize winner and PEN Belarus member Ales Bialiatski to 10 years in prison on trumped up charges of smuggling, and organising and financing actions that grossly violate public order. Bialiatski was tried alongside two colleagues from the Viasna Human Rights Centre (Viasna) – Board Member Valiantsin Stefanovich and lawyer Uladzimir Labkovich – who were sentenced to nine years and seven years in prison, respectively. A fourth member of Viasna, Zmister Salauyou, was tried in absentia and sentenced to eight years in prison.
23 February 2023

Statement from PEN International in solidarity with people in Ukraine

Tomorrow marks one year since the Russian Federation launched a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine. According to the UN, 7,199 civilians have been killed and 11,756 injured, although the actual figures are likely much higher. Many are still reported missing. Over 14 million people have been forced to flee their homes. Over 2.8 million Ukrainians are in the Russian Federation and Belarus; most were forcibly displaced.