Posted on May 22, 2023 at 11:05 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

More than a hundred Nobel laureates, including several prominent authors, are calling on Belarusian authorities to release an imprisoned human rights activist.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Ales Bialiatski originally founded Viasna (Spring) to support protesters who wound up in jail over their demonstrations; the organization has since expanded to one that documents the abuse and torture of political prisoners.

The Guardian reports that Bialiatski himself was jailed about a decade ago and released, but since 2021 — the year before he was given the Nobel Peace Prize — he's been back behind bars again.

Now, Kazuo Ishiguro, Olga Tokarczuk, JM Coetzee, Svetlana Alexievich, Mario Vargas Llosa and Annie Ernaux are among those signing an open letter from PEN International that supports Bialiatski (and his jailed Viasna colleagues) and condemns Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

You can read more about Bialiatski in the Guardian and read the letter on PEN International's website.

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