(New York, NY) — As Belarus marks one year since a fraudulent election kept President Aleksandr Lukashenka in power, a court in the country today formally dissolved PEN America’s sister organization PEN Belarus. PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel said the following:

“Aiming to instill a chilling air of finality, Belarus’ authoritarian government has now formally dissolved our sister organization PEN Belarus. This fraudulent regime is so scared of writers, so afraid of those who dare to speak, that it has trained its energies on trying to snuff out an organization of literary luminaries that stands for books, stories, and a reverence for the written word. The writers of Belarus won’t be silenced and PEN Belarus will not disappear. PEN America will be there every step of the way to amplify their voices and keep up the fight until PEN Belarus can once again swing open its doors in a free home country. Now it’s up to the EU, the U.S., the United Nations, and all those who believe in human rights to stand alongside the brave thinkers and activists of Belarus with one message: Enough is enough.”

Read PEN America’s prior statement on the threat to shut down PEN Belarus; supporters can sign a petition in support of PEN Belarus.