PEN Center Chairman apologizes for controversial remarks

Chairman of the Belarusian PEN Center, Andrei Khadanovich, apologized for the controversial remarks made public on behalf of the organization. He posted a relevant statement on his Facebook page. Previously, the PEN center press release mentioned 'discrimination of the Russian language writers' in Belarus.

"In my opinion, it is time to stop aggressive disputes and ask all those who had been hurt in the heat of the debate for an apology. Dear writers, I apologize for the word 'discrimination' misused in the PEN press release. Of course, no issue of language discrimination was discussed at the meeting of the Belarusian PEN center and no statement was adopted on this matter. Whatever my dear colleague was guided by while writing this press-release expressing his own opinion, using such word was not worth it. I'm sorry, so to say, for my oversight," wrote Khadanovich.

Earlier, the reaction came after the Book of the Year award was launched. The press release about the event stated that the prize will be given not only to the Belarusian, but also to the Russian-speaking writers.

Sloppy wording about 'discrimination' caused heated debate. Writer Siarhei Dubavets even left the PEN Center.

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