The European Council of Literary Translators’ Associations (CEATL), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ (https://europeanjournalists NULL.org/)) and the European Writers Council (EWC (https://europeanwriterscouncil NULL.eu/)call on the governments of Europe and the international community to demonstrate firm support for the democracy movement in Belarus and to provide refuge and humanitarian assistance to those fleeing the country.

One Year after the rigged elections in Belarus, the country is being overrun with a radical crackdown on free speech and humanitarian organizations by the dictatorial Lukashenko regime. More than 1,500 organizations have been targeted by the “radical cleansing”, 41 are already on trial for state-ordered dissolution, including the writers’ organization PEN Belarus (https://pen-centre NULL.by/en) and the Belarusian Association of Journalists (https://baj NULL.by/en) (BAJ). The chairman of the Union of Belarusian Writers (https://lit-bel NULL.org/information-in-english/), poet Barys Piatrovich, is under house arrest and communication ban.

The European Council of Literary Translators’ Associations (CEATL), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the European Writers’ Council (EWC) call for solidarity on the part of all Ministers of Culture and Foreign Offices.

We request not only a clear protest in a common statement to the ongoing violence and repression in Belarus and to press the illegitimate Lukashenko’s regime to release political prisoners immediately. Furthermore, we demand extended and accelerated humanitarian and/or Schengen visas for fleeing Belarusians, especially, but not limited to, persecuted media and cultural workers, as well as financial and political support for those NGOs in neighbouring countries that intercept and support the fleeing Belarusians.

We also call on our colleagues in the press and the book sector to give a voice to those who are denied it in Belarus. Do not stop reporting on Belarus, print “banned books”, advocate for local scholarships and residencies. Because our commitment to democratic and human rights proves to those in Belarus who are fighting for their democracy that their resistance and immeasurable suffering is worthwhile.

You can read the whole text here (https://europeanwriterscouncil NULL.eu/ewc-efj-ceatl-standwithbelarus/)

Belarus: Radical Crackdown Against The Free Word
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