PEN-center issues a public statement in support of independent photographers
national civil association "Belarusian PEN-center" issued a
statement in support of indepent photographers. According to media
information, a civil case has been brought against Yuliya
Darashkevich and Vadzim Zamirouski, the organizers of the artistic
contest "Belarus Press Photo 2011" and the court
proceedings against them will start soon.
PEN-Center is a legally registered voluntary civil association, one of the main aims of whose activity is counteraction to any restrictions or persecution of citizens of Belarus for exercising their right to free expression of their thoughts and views. This right is guaranteed by Article 33 of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus where it is stated:
"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinions and convictions and their free expression. Nobody can be forced to express his views or refuse from them. The monopolization of mass media by the state, civil associations or individuals is inadmissible."
The council of the Belarusian PEN-Center considers the actions of the people responsible for the initiation of the aforementioned case as a manifestation of persecution of the journalists for their creative work and convictions, which directly contradicts to the quoted Constitution article and the international undertakings of the Republic of Belarus in the sphere of the protection of fudnamental human rights.
We urge the appropriate state organs to stop the unlawful persecution of journalists and artists. Thereby we reserve the right to inform the international community about the facts of violation of the right to freedom of expression and creative activities in the Republic of Belarus.
Andrei Khadanovich, head of the national association "Belarusian PEN-Center"
According to lit-bel.org