Accused of promoting extremism after releasing a Belarus Press Photo 2011 book, Lohvinau Publishing House has been denied a state license since 2013. Following this event, Ihar Lohvinau won the International Publishers Association’s Freedom to Publish award for courage in defending freedom of expression. In 2014, book distributors in Belarus must acquire a state registration. Throughout the year Lohvinau Bookstore has been trying to get it six times, being rejected each time for far-fetched pretexts.
In its 15 year history, our publishing house has gained a reputation as the home of contemporary Belarusian literature, publishing more than 1000 titles. Its bookstore in Minsk is a meeting place for artists, intellectuals, authors and readers, organizing cultural events and offering a full range of books from independent Belarusian, Russian, Ukrainian, and Polish publishers.
Today the whole project is in danger of extinction.
Dear Friends, we used to ask for money in return for our books, rather than as an act of charity. Today, we are trapped in an absurd and unjust situation which threatens not only the existence of Lohvinau Bookstore but which endangers the possibility to publish books freely in Belarus and to deliver them to the readers.
We have to pay this fine, equal to our annual turnover. Only with your support can our publishing house and bookstore could effectively continue its work.
Lohvinau must survive, let’s do it together.