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At the recent Writers for Peace Annual Conference in Bled, Slovenia, the delegates and members of the Writers for Peace Committee of PEN International voted to adopt the following statement concerning the abduction of over 270 Nigerian schoolgirls by Boko Haram.

The Writers for Peace Committee urge all PEN Centres to use their unique voice to raise awareness and campaign for action on this tragic case. We encourage you to forward the statement below to the Nigerian Embassy and relevant authorities in your own countries

  • For more information on the Writers for Peace Annual Conference please click here.
  • For more information on the Writers for Peace Committee please click here.
  • For a copy of the Bled Manifesto of the Writers for Peace Committee please click here.

Statement

Bled, 9 May 2014

The Writers for Peace Committee of PEN International adds it voice to the call for the release of the 270 girls who were abducted in Nigeria by Boko Haram. 

This act of terror has reminded us that we need solidarity of voices and action in the protection of freedom. We defend freedom of expression and we cannot separate it from the protection of the lives of these girls. These girls were carted off by militants from a school and these must then be made safe. We must not get used to the news of their disappearance.

This is a despicable act which has left no doubt that terror has been used to attack the weakest and to make its ever ugly statement. We urge everyone to keep calling for the rescue of these girls and to come together in exploring all ways that can help resolve this once and for all.

We support all those who have taken or still may take action to help return these students to their parents and eventually to school and thank them – especially those girls who escaped and gave information regarding where their colleagues might be – but urge that everything must be done to save all of these girls. We thank all those who have written and used social media to call for their release for we believe that every effort counts.

The Writers for Peace Committee of PEN International

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