PEN LAUNCHES LETTER-WRITING CAMPAIGN
While human rights in Belarus have deteriorated in the last decade, President Alexander Lukashenko's government has intensified its crackdown on freedom of expression since 2002, WiPC says. More than 20 independent newspapers have been shut down for various reasons, and several journalists have been charged for libeling the president, a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.
Scholars and scientists have also been targeted, including those who investigate the consequences of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster on Belarusian society, notes WiPC.
Meanwhile, a proposed media law making the registration of new media outlets more difficult and giving authorities greater control over the media threatens to eliminate freedom of expression in Belarus, says WiPC.
WiPC has provided an online campaign package that includes background information on freedom of expression in Belarus, notable cases on persecuted individuals and a sample protest letter.
Access the materials here: http://www.pen.org/freedom/belarus.htm
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit these sites:
- Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN: http://www.internatpen.org/
- IFEX alerts and reports on Belarus: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/188/
(Image: © Human Rights Watch)