Home Page > CampaignsPast Campaigns > Day of the Imprisoned Writer 15 November 2008

Doy of the Imprisoned Writer 2008
Writers under attack
Celebrate their Courage

Eynullah Fatullayev Melissa Patino Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand Tsering Woeser Crocodile of Zambezi
In the past year, the Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of International PEN has monitored over 1,000 attacks on writers and journalists in 90 countries, 200 of whom are serving long prison, others have been threatened, harassed and attacked. Tragically, since 15 November 2007, 39 have been killed, many clearly in the pursuit of their professions, others in unclear circumstances.

On 15 November every year, PEN’s membership of writers worldwide celebrates the courage of others in standing up against repression and for the principle of freedom of expression and the right to information. This Day of the Imprisoned Writer sees writers world wide sending appeals, staging events, and commemorating their fellow colleagues. Each year PEN focuses on five cases – one from each world region and each illustrating the type of repression that is faced daily by those who question, challenge and illustrate daily lives through their writings.

This year the focus cases are:

AZERBAIJAN: Eynulla Fatullayev

A journalist serving an eight year prison term for his political commentary and investigations into the murder of another journalist in 2005. Read more…

PERU: Melissa Rocío Patiño Hinostroza

A student and poet currently on trial for alleged links to a terrorist organisation, although there is no evidence of her having carried out or advocated violence. Read more…

“[I was released on bail pending trial] thanks to the fact that PEN didn’t turn its back on me. The fight for my freedom along with the freedom of everyone who is innocent is not finished. You have helped me to recover my freedom, which the creators of oppression in my country tried to take. A strong hug and all of my love and gratitude.” (Melissa Patiño, 14 May 2008)
IRAN: Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand

A journalist and Kurdish rights activist serving an 11-year prison sentence. Read more…

CHINA: Tsering Woeser

A Tibetan writer and poet who writes in Chinese and who has been banned and suffers harassment for her writings on Tibet. Read more…

ZIMBABWE: Writer, Cast of Crew of the Crocodile of Zambezi

A play that has been banned and led to actors and crew being beaten, and the playwrights threatened. Read more…

“On behalf of everybody involved in the production of The Crocodile of Zambezi, can we please thank you and International PEN for all your efforts in making our case heard in the global village. We hope that it will also inspire other production houses and writers all over the world not to take things lying down, just as we have been inspired by others who have come before us.” (Christopher Mlalazi and Raisedon Baya, 1 November 2008)