Head Of Polish Book Institute Was Refused Entry To Belarus
Grzegorz Gauden hasn’t obtained a Belarusian visa, therefore he will not attend opening of the Month of Polish Literature on October 29.
- This is a clear message from the authorities of Belarus: Poland has been supporting independent writers too much, - Gauden says to Gazeta Wyborcza (thanslated by “Radio Svaboda”).
On the program of the Month of Polish Literature in Minsk are meetings dedicated to Wisława Szymborska, Czesław Miłosz and also to Polish comic strip. A concert of Andrei Khadanovich is also to be held in memory of Jacek Kaczmarski.
-I was to take a flight to Minsk on Wednesday, - Grzegorz Gauden tells. – Our Book Institute is financing, among other things, translation of Polish books into Belarusian language, invites opposition writers and publishers to Poland. Month of Polish Literature was supposed to become a ground for meeting with independent Belarusian publishers and writers. Last week I submitted an invitation from Polish Institute in Minsk and from Polish Embassy in Minsk to the Belarusian Embassy in Poland.
The head of the Book Institute has been to Ukraine and Lithuania many times. It was supposed to be his first time in Belarus. Gauden expected to get his passport with Belarusian visa back on Tuesday – the officials assured him of this already a week ago. However, instead of the visa he got a “Denied” stamp.
- It’s not about me as a private person, it’s about a governmental institution which I represent, - Gauden says. – The Book Institute supports Belarusian opposition writers by granting them a scholarship in Poland. We are in good rapport with independent Belarusian publishers. I regard this denial as a message from Belarusian authorities: the Book Institute shouldn’t support Belarusian opposition writers.