As part of PEN International’s annual Day of the Imprisoned Writer Neil Gaiman writes to cartoonist Ramón Esono Ebalé, currently detained in Equatorial Guinea.
The planet that you and I share is the same planet, but we live in different worlds. I am perfectly free to write whatever I wish, to be as imaginative as I want to be, to create people and places, to challenge the things that I believe need to be challenged, and you are not. It is the truth of the worlds that you and I occupy, but it is something that I do not and cannot accept.
This is why I am writing this. Because I wanted to tell you that, though you and I have never met, though you are behind bars and I am free, the things that unite us are more important than those that set us apart.
I’m writing because I need you to know that PEN’s entire community of writers, artists and activists, stands with you. Those who are threatened by your work have tried to silence you, and instead they have amplified your voice. We are with you in your struggle for freedom. And we will continue to stand with you until you are free to carry out your work without fear.
I wish and dream that soon you will be free. Until then, I send you strength and my solidarity.
With hope for better days ahead,
Take acton for Ramón Esono Ebalé here.