Prominent Belarusian philosopher Uladzimir Mackievič turns 66 on Saturday 14 May. He has been held in pre-trial detention in Minsk since 4 August 2021 and faces up to three years in prison for public order offences. A date for his trial hearing has yet to be set.
PEN International believes that Mackievič is being targeted for his views and writings critical of the Belarusian authorities. The organisation calls for his immediate and unconditional release and for all charges against him to be dropped.
TWITTER DAY OF ACTION – 14 MAY
Join the call to free Uladzimir Mackievič on social media #FreeMatskevich #philosopher_in_prison #Belarus
#philosopher_in_prison Uladzimir Mackievič turns 66 today. He should spend his birthday with his family, not behind bars. The authorities of #Belarus must release him immediately and unconditionally #FreeMatskevich
#Belarus: the PEN Community stands with #philosopher_in_prison Uladzimir Mackievič. Today is his birthday. He must be freed #FreeMatskevich
Философу Владимиру Мацкевичу сегодня исполняется 66 лет. Владимир должен праздновать свой день рождения в кругу семьи, а не за решеткой. Власти #Беларуси должны освободить его немедленно и безоговорочно #FreeMatskevich #философ_в_тюрьме
#Беларусь: ПЕН-сообщество поддерживает Владимира Мацкевича. Сегодня Владимир празднует свой день рождения. Владимир должен быть на свободе #FreeMatskevich #философ_в_тюрьме
Філосафу Уладзіміру Мацкевічу сёння спаўняецца 66 гадоў. Уладзімір павінен святкаваць свой дзень народзінаў разам з сям'ёй, а не за кратамі. Улады #Беларусі павінны вызваліць яго неадкладна і безумоўна #FreeMatskevich #philosopher_in_prison
#Беларусь: ПЭН-супольнасць падтрымлівае Уладзіміра Мацкевіча. Сёння Уладзімір святкуе свой дзень народзінаў. Уладзімір павінен быць на волі #FreeMatskevich #philosopher_in_prison
SEND APPEALS – ONGOING
Ask the Belarusian authorities to release Uladzimir Mackievič immediately and unconditionally and drop all charges against him.
Send appeals to:
Role: Prosecutor General of the Republic of Belarus
Address: Vul. Internatsianalnaya 22, 220030 Minsk, Belarus
Role: Minister of Foreign Affairs
Address: Vul. Lienina, 19, Minsk 220030, Belarus
Send copies to the Embassy of Belarus in your own country. Embassy addresses may be found here: https://mfa.gov.by/en/bilateral/belarus/?asd50
SEND MESSAGES OF SUPPORT – ONGOING
Please send messages to:
Pre-trial detention center No. 1. 220030
Minsk, vulica Valadarskaha 2
The prison administration is more likely to accept messages if written in Russian. Please find a model letter below:
Dear Uladzimir, we stand with you and celebrate your work and courage. We will keep advocating for your freedom.
Дорогой Владимир, мы c вами! Мы невероятно ценим ваш труд и мужество! Мы будем и дальше бороться за вашу свободу!
Prominent Belarusian philosopher, essayist, and broadcaster Uladzimir Mackievič (Уладзімір Уладзіміравіч Мацкевіч) was detained on 4 August 2021 after the Belarusian KGB raided his house. He was transferred to a pre-trial detention centre on 15 August and charged with ‘organising and preparing actions that grossly violate public order’, under Article 342 (1) of the Criminal Code of Belarus. In February 2022, Mackievič went on hunger strike for 13 days in protest of his detention and demanding that a date for his court hearing be set. In April 2022, the General Prosecutor’s Office published a note stating that the criminal case against him had been sent to the Minsk City Court.
Uladzimir Mackievič played a key role in launching Charter’97, a civic initiative working to restore democracy and human rights in Belarus. In 2011, after being stripped of the right to teach at Belarusian public universities for criticising President Alexander Lukashenko, he co-founded the Flying University, an independent platform that promotes critical thinking. Prior to his arrest, he had been hosting ‘Talk of the Day’, a show on Belsat TV channel since 2012.
For more information about Uladzimir Mackievič and PEN’s campaign please click here.
For further details contact Aurélia Dondo at PEN International, Koops Mill, 162-164 Abbey Street, London, SE1 2AN, UK Tel: +44 (0) 20 7405 0338 Fax +44 (0) 20 7405 0339 e-mail: Aurelia.firstname.lastname@example.org