Deklaracja czterech PEN Clubów w sprawie więźniów sumienia w Chinach i Białorusi
THE DECLARATION OF FOUR PEN CENTRES ON SITUATION OF PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE IN CHINESE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC AND REPUBLIC OF BELORUSSIA
Access to civilisation cannot be a good that is available only to the select few. Unfortunately, aside from natural catastrophes and economic poverty, one more plague that hinders entire human communities from taking advantage of the positive opportunities offered by contemporary civilisation, is that of the absence of civil liberties, the enslavement and reign of terror. The fate of numerous victims of institutionalised as well as non-institutionalised political forces on many Continents is shared by writers and intellectuals. They are supposed to be guilty of truth and of striving to enjoy freedom of speech and of thought.
In 2011, 90 years will pass since the birth of the PEN Club – an international movement of intellectuals from over a hundred countries formed to defend the ideal of one humanity that will not succumb to racial, class and national hatred. As the International Charter of the movement states: „P.E.N. stands for the principle of unhampered transmission of thought within each nation and among all nations, and members pledge themselves to oppose any form of suppression of freedom of expression in their country or their community”.
Today, for the very first time in history, two PEN Club Presidents have become an embodiment of the fate of the prisoners of conscience: they are – the poet Liu Xiaobo, Winner of the 2010 Noble Peace Prize, who is the Honorary President of the Independent Chinese PEN Club, sentenced to many years in prison by the Court of the Chinese People’s Republic for his statements defending human rights, and – Vladimir Neklyaev, a poet and Honorary President of the Belarus PEN Club, severely beaten up by the security forces police and put into prison in violation of any civil liberties whatsoever, without any court hearing, together with the other opposition candidates and their supporters during the Regime’s Presidential Elections.
On behalf of our four national centres and the entire international PEN community, we demand release of those who have been imprisoned, we demand the release of Liu Xiaobo and of Vladimir Neklyaev, writers, defenders of free speech, defenders of human rights. In them, we are defending the freedom of speech, human rights and civil liberties – we are defending human civilisation.
CZECH PEN CENTRE
INDEPENDENT CHINESE PEN CENTRE
LITHUANIAN PEN CENTRE
POLISH PEN CLUB