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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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Click here to open the PEN Melbourne Journal Summer 2020-21: PEN-Melbourne-Journal_Summer-2020-21_Singles

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GeorgeTown Literary Festival , Sat 28 November at 11.30pm  EST http://streamed live on the GTLF Facebook Page. Witness the stories, lessons and visual journey of five Malaysian women in the literary arts, as they reclaim the principles of the PEN International Women’s Manifesto. From one playwright’s battle against the banning of ‘The Vagina Monologues’ to a trans woman writer’s journey of wrangling her fears into text, this session will be a feminist shake-up on the very definition of being a …

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Nasrin’s Message on her Facebook page, 8 Nov 2020 Dear friends and human rights activists, With your love and care, I have returned home on medical leave to pursue my treatments. Every day that I spend out of prison, I am waiting to hear the news of the release of all political prisoners. I’d like to express my gratitude for all national and international organizations in Iran and abroad, Bar Associations in various countries, human rights organizations as well as …

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15 Nov: Day of the Imprisoned Writer 2020: Take action for Sedigeh Vasmaghi Name: Sedigeh Vasmaghi Occupation: Theologian, poet, writer and women’s rights activist Situation: Facing six years in prison. Books banned in Iran. #ImprisonedWriter #SedigehVasmaghi Sedigeh Vasmaghi is a theologian, poet, writer, and women’s rights activist who has written on a broad sweep of theological, political and social issues. She is highly regarded in Iran and abroad for her commentary on Islamic jurisprudence in Iran. In August 2020, Vasmaghi …

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Lawyer: “These sentences are without legal and judicial merit. They are only political rulings” Prominent members of the Iranian Writers Association (IWA) have begun serving prison sentences for the peaceful expression dissent and their opposition to censorship. “On September 26, 2020, IWA board members Reza Khandan Mahabadi and Baktash Abtin, as well as former board member Keyvan Bajan, were transferred to Evin Prison [to begin serving their] sentences… The three IWA members must be freed unconditionally,” said a statement from …

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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