Vladimir Orlov on trial for participating in a rally in Minsk, 10 snow. With him is his wife, the poet Valentina Aksak

Freedom of expression and of Assembly is a basic human right.

The literary organization PEN America believes that the penalty for the Belarusian writer Vladimir Orlov for the reading of his essay “Independence – it …” during the protest in Minsk is a violation of the rights to freedom of Assembly and freedom of speech, “radio Svaboda”.

“The Belarusian authorities have made almost impossible the participation of people in peaceful public protest actions, – said Polina Kovaleva, head of the Eurasian sector of PEN America. Now they punish people for what they publicly read their work. Freedom of expression and of Assembly is a basic human right, without which there can be significant public dialogue and debate. This attempt to silence the voice of the famous writer – particularly strict violation of these rights. PEN America joins the call by the Belarusian PEN centre to immediately drop all charges against Vladimir Orlov”.

We will remind, Vladimir Orlov for participation in the rally on January 8 in the protection of independence of Belarus court fined him 20 basic units (540 rubles).