Svetlana Alexievich leaves Russian PEN Center

This was her response to the exclusion of Sergei Parkhomenko.

The writer and journalist Sergei Parkhomenko was expelled from the Russian PEN Center late last year for “provocative activities incompatible with its goals and objectives.” After that, its prominent members – Lev Rubinstein, Boris Akunin and Alexander Ilichevsky – left the organization.

Mr Parkhomenko linked his exclusion with the text on the website of radio station “Echo of Moscow”, where he talks about the situation with the address of the Russian PEN Centre to the Russian authorities about the fate of Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov.

More than 30 members of the Russian PEN Center demanded an extraordinary meeting and cancel the decision to exclude Parkhomenko.


PEN Center is the worldwide association of professional writers, founded in 1921 in London at the initiative of Catherine Amy Dawson-Scott and John Galsworthy to enhance cooperation of creators and to protect their rights.

The name is an abbreviation from the English words ‘poet’, ‘essayist’ and ‘novelist’ — which, in turn, is made of the word ‘pen’.

Belarusian PEN Center originated in 1989, and in 1990 it was admitted to the International PEN.

President of the Belarusian PEN Centre is Andrei Hadanovich (since 2009).

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