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We Are Ready for Freedom of Expression

A joint initiative by PEN America, PEN Canada and Independent Chinese PEN entitled ‘We Are Ready for Freedom of Expression’, launched on International Human Rights Day (10 December), challenging the Chinese government to:

Release all the writers and journalists it is holding in prisons before the opening of the Olympic Games on 8 August 2008.

Abide by its pledge that “there will be no restrictions on media reporting and movement of journalists up to and including the Olympic Games”; and

End internet censorship and reform laws that are used to suppress the free exchange of information and ideas on the internet.

What Centres can do
The ‘We Are Ready for Freedom of Expression’ campaign includes a number of components and actions that Centres are free to import and adapt as they see fit. These include:

Basic resources such as biographies and photos of the (currently) 38 writers and journalists in prison in China.

Up to the minute press releases on developments in all 38 of these cases and other significant freedom of expression-related news from China.

The ‘We Are Ready for Freedom of Expression’ campaign logo.

Specific, ready-made actions for members and the general public include

A petition to the Chinese government.

Weekly actions focusing on one or two of the 38 imprisoned writers between now and the Olympics opening ceremonies.

For more information see www.pen.org or email Sarah Hoffman at sarah@pen.org