‘When another writer in another house is not free, no writer is free.’ – Orhan Pamuk
The Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of PEN International works on behalf of persecuted writers worldwide. It was established in 1960 in response to increasing attempts to silence voices of dissent by imprisoning writers and journalists.
Working on behalf of persecuted writers worldwide, the WiPC monitors between 700-900 cases across the globe each year. The WiPC mobilises the wider PEN community to take action through its Rapid Action Network alerts, targeted regional campaigns, and by utilising PEN’s consultative status with the UN to submit UPR country reports.
The Committee’s Rapid Action Network Alerts provide details of cases of individuals whose lives and liberty are being threatened and makes specific suggestions for action.
In addition to its work on behalf of individual writers, the Committee creates campaigns on issues affecting freedom of expression, such as Religious Defamation, Impunity and Criminal Defamation, and campaigns focused on specific regions or countries, such as the Americas, Iran, China and Turkey.
The Writers in Prison Committee also works through the UN to bring attention to individual cases and to systemic human rights problems in specific countries.
Marian Botsford Fraser has been the Chair of the Writers in Prison Committee of PEN International since 2009. She is is a freelance writer, editor, critic and broadcaster. To read more about Ms Botsford Fraser click here.
Read the Notebook of the WiPC Chair here.