5 February 2016
This morning, PEN International received news from our colleagues at the Kurdish PEN Centre based in Sur Amed (Diyarbakir) of an attack on their offices on 2 February 2016.
As the area in which Kurdish PEN offices are located has been under 24-hour curfew for some time, Kurdish PEN members found out about the attack on 4 February, and were only able to gain access to the office on the morning of 5 February.
PEN International is currently seeking further information about the circumstances of this attack. In the meantime, it calls on the Turkish authorities to carry out a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into the attack, bring anyone responsible for any crime relating to the attack to justice and to ensure that all Kurdish PEN members are protected from harm and are able to exercise their right to peaceful free expression.
Messages of support and solidarity from PEN Centres and members:
PEN Turkey: ‘Dear members of Kurdish PEN Centre, PEN members across the globe. What awful news. PEN Turkey strongly condemns the vicious attack on the office of Kurdish PEN Centre, which is in a beautiful historic building where Kurdish folk singers and poets share cultural treasures. In solidarity in terrible times. ‘
Hungarian PEN President, Géza Szőcs: ‘Hungarian PEN wishes to express out sympathy and our complete solidarity with you in the terrible time. We support, as well as our Kurdish colleagues and the whole Kurdish nation.’
For more information contact Ann Harrison: Ann.firstname.lastname@example.org | 0044 (0)207 405 0338