Writers in Prison Committee
‘When another writer in another house is not free, no writer is free.’ – Orhan Pamuk
The Writers in Prison Committee 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.
The Committee currently monitors the cases of 700-900 writers annually.
The Committee lobbies governments and offers moral support to imprisoned writers who may become honorary members of individual Centres. The Committee maintains a database of all cases of abuses against writers and journalists, updated daily. Information on individual cases or specific countries is available on request.
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 is the Chair of the Writers in Prison Committee of PEN International. Read more here
Read the Writers in Prison Committee notebook here.
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