Belarusian publisher Yanushkevich loses license in Belarus

Andrei Yanushkevich / Euroradio
Andrei Yanushkevich / Euroradio

The Yanushkevich Publishing House has had its license revoked by the court.  The director of the publishing house, Andrei Yanushkevich, recently posted a copy of the court decision on social feeds.

The trial took place at the beginning of January in the Minsk Economic Court. The Ministry of Information filed the suit.

According to the case documents, the publishing house lost its license for publishing books recognized as extremist. These are the novel "The Dogs of Europe" by Alhierd Bakharevich, the monograph "Agrarian Patriotism of Nationalists in Western Belarus" by Sviatlana Kozlava and "The Ballad of the Little Tugboat" by Joseph Brodsky, translated by Alesya Aleinik.

"It is now officially known that the Yanushkevich Publishing House has been deprived of the right to publish books in the Republic of Belarus. It was hard to imagine a more shortsighted, anti-cultural, anti-Belarusian step on the part of the Ministry of Information. The fall toward the "West-Russian land" is in full swing."

We have nothing to lose; Moscow is behind us! In Belarus, children and adults will not see new books about Harry Potter, The Witcher, and The Master of the Ice Garden. There will be no editions of Nobel laureates because such "harmful" voices of Marquez, Pamuk, Ishiguro and Muller could be read in Belarusian thanks to us. Why do citizens of Belarus need Swedish and Polish detectives in Belarusian fiction and fantasy from acknowledged masters of the genre?" Yanushkevich wrote in his comments on this court ruling.

He stressed that the publishing house had not published a single extremist book. "Each of our books has its artistic, scientific and cognitive merits; we are proud of every book. While publishing them, we were guided by cultural principles, ignoring politics and ideology. But culture is not inherent to the authorities and officials in Belarus; it is incomprehensible and therefore dangerous for them," the publisher writes.

He promised to continue publishing books.

The Yanushkevich Publishing House stopped working last year when the law enforcers smashed up the newly opened bookstore "Knihauka," and Andrei Yanushkevich and his employee Nasta Karnatskaya were imprisoned for 24 hours. After that, the publisher left for Poland, where he plans to resume publishing Belarusian books.

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