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Norwegian PEN admitted Ales Bialiatski as honorary member

2024 2024-05-17T12:25:03+0300 2024-05-17T12:25:03+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

At the annual meeting of the Norwegian PEN on May 15, the imprisoned human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ales Bialiatski was solemnly admitted as honorary members of the organization. 

The explanation of the proposal was made by Jørgen Frydnes, Secretary General of the Norwegian PEN, who is also chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, writes Radio Svaboda.

Fragments of the film Belarus: the Last Dictatorship in Europe about Ales Bialiatski were also shown at the meeting.

At the meeting, Bialiatski's wife Natallia Pinchuk expressed her gratitude. She thanked the creators and the Norwegian society for understanding and supporting the freedom-loving aspirations of Belarusians.

"Ales also carries this inner freedom, and no prison and bullying will break his spirit," said she.

Natallia Pinchuk spoke about the life of Ales Bialiatski, who in the early 1980s distributed the texts of Belarusian writers and publicists banned in the USSR, and published his own samizdat magazines with friends. In 1986, for the first time since the post-war period in Soviet Belarus, challenging the monopoly of the communist government, Ales and like-minded people created a literary association Tuteishyia for the sake of freedom of the Belarusian artistic expression.

She also spoke about political prisoners in Belarus, including writers and journalists.

"I do not know when I will be able to share with Ales the news of the honor that the Norwegian PEN has given him. But it is the evidence that the community of creators and the whole free world remembers about him. It shows to the authorities that Belarus is not forgotten in the world. Norway, on whose land he received the title of Nobel Laureate, remembers Bialiatski," Natallia Pinchuk said and demanded the unconditional release of Belarusian political prisoners.

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