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The Writers in Prison Committee of PEN International was set up in 1960 as a result of mounting concern about attempts to silence critical voices around the world. An office was set up at the PEN head office in London to gather information and to alert the PEN membership to take action. The WiPC is now staffed by a team of experts who monitor around 1,000 attacks on writers, journalists, editors, poets, publishers and others in any given year. These include long prison terms, harassment, threats, and murder.

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David McBride faces 50 years in prison for blowing the whistle on the Australian Defence Force’s “unethical, harmful and highly politicised leadership which fostered a culture of impunity in Afghanistan.” In 2011 and 2013, David served in Afghanistan as a military lawyer to the Royal Australian Regiment and Australian Special Forces respectively. After seeing the Rule of Law and the rules of war not being followed, he made an internal report in 2014, but after no real or effective action, …

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The Iranian regime has demonstrated yet again that they are the sworn enemy of freedom. On Saturday 16 October writer Arash Ganji was summonsed to serve his 11 year prison term in the notorious Evin Prison, after losing his appeal. The judge who issued the summons is Moghiseh, known as Naserian, whose name has been mentioned repeatedly in the trial currently taking place in The Stockholm District Court in Sweden in connection to the mass murder of thousands of Iranian …

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Monday 15 November 2021, 6.30pm-7.30pmat wheelercentre.comBook now Together in Literature: 100 Years of PEN International

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“The main cultural news right now is: emmigration, the liquidation of cultural organizations, trials, and arrests. “ Maksim Žbankoŭ, journalist and culture expert PEN Belarus is systematically collecting information on the implementation of cultural rights and the observance of the rights of cultural workers. Since August 2020, we have been both witnesses and recorders of the extreme pressure exerted upon Belarusian civil society, and cultural workers in particular. This is a tragic time for freedom of expression, creative freedom, and …

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The Nobel Peace Prize for 2021 awarded to Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace. Ms Ressa and Mr Muratov are receiving the Peace Prize for their courageous fight for freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia. At the same time, they are representatives of all journalists who stand up for this ideal in a world in which democracy and freedom of the press face increasingly adverse …

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