Since its founding in 2000 by Ihar Lohvinau, the Lohvinau Publishing House and Bookstore in Minsk, Belarus has been a beacon for freedom. The international award-winning press and bookshop has been a consistent thumb in the eye of the country’s authoritarian government headed by president for life Alexander Lukashenko. In 2012, the government confiscated a shipment of Lohvinau’s books at the border with Lithuania and charged the publisher with making false insinuations about life in Belarus and the regime. After a lengthy trial and appeal, Lohvinau has been fined 976 billion rubles, or $62,120. If they fail to pay the fine, the government will shut down the bookstore and permanently revoke their bookselling license.
A campaign to save Lohvinau Bookstore has been launched on their website where you can contribute. You can also help by promoting the cause on social media by sharing #saveLohvinau. More information can be found at the Pen International website.