Culture ministry does not recognize BAJ and PEN as creative unions

Photo: STV

The Ministry of Culture has refused to recognize the Belarusian Association of Journalists and the Belarusian PEN-centre to be creative unions, the BAJ press service reports.

The Ministry of Culture has given an official reply to the collective appeal sent by BAJ and the Belarusian PEN-centre and the Union of Belarusian Writers. The organizations prepared the appeal on March 15. They asked to explain why they had not been added on the list of creative unions while other civil organizations had.


BAJ, BUW and the PEN-centre noted the discriminative approach of the Ministry to a number of organizations and their member involved in creative work.

According to the Ministry’s reply signed by deputy Minister Iryna Dryha, the status of a creative worker is denoted by creative unions according to the existing order. The list of creative unions was approved in resolution #7 of January 30, 2017.

Neither BAJ, nor the PEN-centre were added on that list. The Union of Belarusian Writers is luckier: the organizations as added on the list in March.

Being on the list of creative unions guarantees that the members of such organizations will be exempt from the freeloaders’ tax.