Freedom of Speech
One Year in Prison Without Charges: Poet Ashraf Fayadh (Palestine/Saudi Arabia)

One Year in Prison Without Charges: Poet Ashraf Fayadh (Palestine/Saudi Arabia)

Once again, our friends at Arabic Literature (in English) are drawing attention to the plight of yet another writer held by the authorities in Saudi Arabia. Palestinian poet and artist Ashraf Fayadh was arrested by Saudi authorities on January 1, 2014 — charged with “insulting the Godly self and having long hair” — and has yet to face...
Readers and Writers Battling Censorship in Kuwait Have a Hard Road Ahead

Readers and Writers Battling Censorship in Kuwait Have a Hard Road Ahead

Our friends at Arabic Literature (in English) recently looked at censorship in Kuwait, where rumours of „sex books“ in libraries have stirred some heated discussions. But, according to Kuwaiti Minister of Education and Higher Education Bader Al-Essa, these rumours are greatly exaggerated. The Kuwait-based Arab Times wrote — in an article titled ‘Presence Of Sex Books In...
Solidarity with Threatened Algerian Novelist Kamel Daoud

Solidarity with Threatened Algerian Novelist Kamel Daoud

Our friends at Arabic Literature (in English) recently posted the disturbing news of a call by Algerian Salafi leader Abdelfatah Hamadache — called “un obscure salafiste” by the paper Le Matin — for the death of award-winning Algerian novelist Kamel Daoud.   On December 16, Salafi leader Abdelfatah Hamadache declared a fatwa condemning the writer and journalist Kamel Daoud to death. The declaration to...
International Publishers Association: Release Xu Xiao

International Publishers Association: Release Xu Xiao

The International Publishers Association calls on China’s government to immediately release Xu Xiao, a prominent publisher, writer and editor, who was arrested on November 26th during a crackdown on writers, journalists, publishers and civil society activists seen to be supportive of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Beijing-based publisher Xu Xiao, 2014 IPA Freedom to Publish Prize...
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...
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...
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...