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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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Can journalism be considered a crime? Suzan SAKA Since the early years of the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, the state has consistently used detention, arrest, torture, and other methods of pressure and violence against journalists, writers, cartoonists, and poets who have been critical. Dozens of intellectuals, writers, and journalists have been murdered through unsolved murders, disappearances in custody, and assassinations. The state has hindered the revelation of truth by opening hundreds of cases against these journalists and writers. …

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Writers in Prison PEN Melbourne Jun 1, 2024, PEN International’s latest statement in support of Russian-American journalist Alsu Kurmasheva, who continues to be held on trumped-up grounds in the Russian Federation (below) is also available at the following link: https://www.pen-international.org/news/russian-federation-free-russian-american-journalist-alsu-kurmasheva   Russian Federation: Free Russian-American journalist Alsu Kurmasheva ‘The charges brought against Alsu Kurmasheva are preposterous and must be dropped at once. The Russian authorities are using her continued arbitrary detention to send a chilling message to fellow journalists in …

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Professor Rahile Dawut is an internationally acclaimed academic, anthropologist, and a leading expert on Uyghur folklore and cultural traditions. In December 2017, Rahile Dawut was due to travel to Beijing for an academic conference, but never reached her destination. It was widely believed that she had been disappeared by the Chinese authorities. Despite international condemnation of her disappearance and a campaign led by her daughter calling for her release, more than three years passed before her former co-workers were able …

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We are very excited to share with you that Australian contemporary artist, Shaun Gladwell has been named as a Finalist in the Archibald Prize for his portrait of Julian Assange! Gladwell describes his portrait, titled ‘A spangled symbolist portrait of Julian Assange floating in reflection’ as a protest against the political persecution, psychological torture and illegal incarceration of Julian. CHECK IT OUT Meeting the Archibald’s requirement of at least one ‘live sitting’ with the subject was a challenge for the …

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20 May 2024: Julian Assange has been granted permission to appeal his extradition to the US, where he faces up to up 175 years in prison and would be at risk of serious human rights violations. Representatives of PEN International, English PEN, and PEN Norway observed the hearing. Responding to the news, PEN International and the undersigned PEN Centres said: “Today’s decision by the UK High Court is a crucial step in our years-long campaign to free Julian Assange. It …

As a member of PEN Melbourne, you will receive a monthly Update with news about our activities and campaigns, and invitations to a program of events with renowned Australian and international writers and activists. The PEN Melbourne Journal is also produced twice a year and distributed free to members.

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