Author Archive
PEN: Call to Action for Aron Atabek (Kazakhstan)

PEN: Call to Action for Aron Atabek (Kazakhstan)

PEN International is deeply concerned at reports that the imprisoned poet Aron Atabek – who is in ill health – has been tortured or otherwise ill-treated by prison guards. According to the poet’s son, Atabek has suffered regular beatings on the head and neck during his incarceration in Pavlodar prison. There is an absolute prohibition on...
China: Renewed crackdown on writers and journalists ahead of 25th anniversary of Tiananmen protests

China: Renewed crackdown on writers and journalists ahead of 25th anniversary of Tiananmen protests

London, 7 May 2014 - Five prominent dissident writers arrested for taking part in events to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the crackdown on the 1989 pro-democracy protests should be released immediately and unconditionally, PEN International said today. Two of those detained are members of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre (ICPC), an affliate centre of the global...
In Conversation with Amin Maalouf

In Conversation with Amin Maalouf

PEN International conducted this interview with Lebanese-born writer Amin Maalouf during the Writers Unlimited Winternachten festival in January 2014. Maalouf, one of the outstanding voices in the French and Arabic literary world, was award the Prix Goncourt in 1993. You grew up speaking Arabic at home but chose to write (fiction, at least) in French – who,...
PEN International: Appeal for Egyptian Poet Omar Hazek

PEN International: Appeal for Egyptian Poet Omar Hazek

PEN International protests the two-year prison sentence handed down to Egyptian poet Omar Hazek, who has been held in custody since his arrest in early December 2013 for taking part in a protest. Omar Hazek was held in Hadra prison in Alexandria until 21 February 2014 when he was moved to Burj Al-Arab prison also...
PEN: Call to Action for Turkish human rights lawyer and writer Muharrem Erbey

PEN: Call to Action for Turkish human rights lawyer and writer Muharrem Erbey

Human rights lawyer, writer and PEN Turkey member Muharrem Erbey was arrested in Diyarbakır, south-eastern Turkey, in December 2009. He is one of scores of lawyers, politicians, writers, journalists, publishers, trade unionists and academics detained as part of a wide-reaching anti-terror probe into pro-Kurdish intellectuals, political activists and civil society organisations in Turkey. December 2013...
PEN International: Open letter to President Viktor Yanukovich calling for peaceful dialogue in Ukraine

PEN International: Open letter to President Viktor Yanukovich calling for peaceful dialogue in Ukraine

Dear President Yanukovich, I am writing to you on behalf of the tens of thousands of members of PEN International, the worldwide organisation of writers. We are deeply concerned about the escalating unrest in the Ukraine, and in particular about any negative impacts on the freedom of expression of Ukraine citizens demonstrating in Kiev and...
PEN: Alarming rise in cases of writers persecuted for their use of digital media

PEN: Alarming rise in cases of writers persecuted for their use of digital media

In the first six months of 2013, PEN monitored over 630 cases of attacks on writers, journalists and bloggers. Of these, around 187 are in prison, some serving sentences of over 15 years. Others are suffering unfair trials, harassment and threats.Every year PEN focuses on five writers from around the world that represent the type...
Day of the Dead - remembering murdered writers in Latin America

Day of the Dead – remembering murdered writers in Latin America

Every year on 2nd November, the Mexican Day of the Dead, PEN International and PEN centres around the world commemorate murdered colleagues in Latin America through campaigns, events, film screenings, readings and more. Day of the Dead is a time when the families and friends of the departed in Latin America and beyond commemorate the...