Belarusian Embassy in Kiev refuses to accept honors which Ukrainian President Viktar Yushchanka recently awarded to writers Ales Pashkevich, Nil Hilevich, and Siarhei Zakonnikau

2006 2006-10-23T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On October 22 The Union of Belarusian Writers gathered for its convention. 275 delegates came to the convention from all parts of the country. The convention was held at Minsk International Education Center. The organizers were not allowed to rent the Writer’s House and several other conference-halls. The convention participants said some of the Union members had received insistent suggestions that they should not come to the convention. They even faced threats with different sanctions. However, the threats were in vain.

The main goal of the convention was to keep the writers’ organization alive after the authorities moved it out of the Writers’ House and created pro-governmental Union of Writers of Belarus. Ales Pashkevich was reelected as chairperson of the Union by majority of votes. The convention delegates also made statements in support of hunger-striking Protestants, Alexander Kazulin and other political prisoners.

Volodymyr Yavorivski, head of the Union of Writers of Ukraine, MP, visited the convention as a guest. He awarded special honors of the Ukrainian Writer’s Union to Nil Hilevich, Siarhei Zakonnikau, Vasil Zuyonak, and Ryhor Baradulin. The Ukrainian guest informed the delegates that the Belarusian Embassy in Kyiv refused to accept Ukrainian orders which President Viktar Yushchanka had awarded to Ales Pashkevich, Nil Hilevich, and Siarhei Zakonnikau. Mr. Yavorivski promised he would personally bring the orders to Minsk.