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Notice of Action - 15 November 2012 Day of the Imprisoned Writer

PEN International Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) | 08 November 2012

PEN International

Notice of Action – Materials and Centre News now on PEN International Website

The background material for the Day of the Imprisoned Writer is now on the PEN website Next week, in time for the event itself, it be in a more prominent place on the site with an accompanying press release.

Many of you have sent details of your events and we are starting to collate and upload information on your activities for the day itself. There has been a fantastic response. Read some of the events here:

If you have sent us details but they are not yet on this site, rest assured that they will be in the coming days. If you have not yet told us, simply send an email to me at

During November, a number of Centres are also taking part in the Write Against Impunity in the Americas campaign. To read more and take part go to:

Uyghur PEN

24 October 2012

Notice of Action – call for information on planned events

Earlier this month we sent a notice of plans for this year’s 15 November Day of the Imprisoned Writer – see below. We also asked for Centres to let us know of any events that are being planned so that we can share the news on our website. So far we have heard of events or news articles being planned by:

This is already a great line up and we look forward to hearing from others.

If you have not yet told us of your event, please do as soon as you can. Also any links to websites and social networks, photos and articles etc would be most helpful.

During November, a number of Centres are also taking part in the Write Against Impunity in the Americas campaign. To read more and take part go to:

Sara Whyatt

Uyghur PEN

5 October 2012

Dear colleagues,

This year, 15 November 2012 with be the 31st PEN International Day of the Imprisoned Writer. On this day, Centres around the world will celebrate the courage of their colleagues who are struggling for their right to freedom of expression.

This year, as in previous years, the Writers in Prison Committee at the PEN International office in London, has selected five cases, one from each world region and each representative of the type of repression faced by writers every year. These include imprisonment, court cases, threats, and even murder. Summaries of the cases to be highlighted this year are given below. However your Centre may choose to focus on other cases, maybe an honorary member or another writer whose case has particular resonance for your centre. Some Centres chose to also, or instead, have themed events.

Whatever action your centre takes around this day, be it a large event, or simply a few letters written on behalf of writers in prison, it makes a tremendous impact. Your actions can lead to a writer’s release, or a change to a law, or, importantly to provide writers who live under daily repression a reminder of international fellowship and support of other that enables them to continue their struggle for their right to write.

The focus cases for 2012 are:

Shiva Nazar Ahari (Iran): journalist, writer and human rights activist who was sentenced to four years in prison for her writings and advocacy.

Ericson Acosta (Philippines): a poet, songwriter and activist who has been held without trial since February 2011 on charges which appear to be linked to his writings on human right and environmental issues.

Regina Martinez (Mexico): correspondent for an investigation news magazine who was murdered in Xalapa, Veracruz State, in April 2012, most likely because of her reporting on organised crime and corruption.

Muharrem Erbey (Turkey): human rights lawyer, writer and Vice-President of the Human Rights Association (IHD), imprisoned under the Anti-Terror Law since December 2009 on charges of “membership of an illegal organization”,charges that appear to be linked to his work as a human rights defender.

Eskinder Nega (Ethiopia): journalist and blogger convicted to 18 years in prison on dubious terrorism related charges, clearly levied as punishment for his reporting on government human rights abuses.

More information on each of these cases can be found in the documents attached. These will be available on our website in the days running up to 15 November, including any new information that may arise.

We will also be using the day to commemorate the over 30 writers and journalists who have been killed since the 30th Day of the Imprisoned Writer on 15 November 2011. A list of these names will be provided.

Take Action:

To mark the occasion PEN Centres are encouraged to write appeals, stage events, and raise publicity around this Day. For advice on activities, see the PEN International Guide to Defending Writers under Attack.

PEN International looks once again to the 15 November Day of the Imprisoned writer as an opportunity to renew our calls for justice for writers and journalist who have faced harassment and attacks as a result of their work.

If you are planning an action to mark the Day of the Imprisoned Writer please let us know by writing to If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Finally, centres are reminded that the situation in each of the above cases is subject to change between now and 15 November. PEN International will be reviewing the cases over the next few weeks and updating this information if necessary. A press statement will be released on 14 November.

Kind regards,

Sara Whyatt

Sara Whyatt | Deputy Director | Sous-Directeur | Sub-Directora | PEN International t. +44 (0)20 7405 0338 | m. +44 (0)7824640527 | Twitter | Facebook |

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