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 PEN Melbourne

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.

Latest news

Tuesday 14th May, 2024 The jailing of David McBride is a dark day for democracy and press freedom in Australia https://www.theguardian.com/media/commentisfree/article/2024/may/14/the-jailing-of-david-mcbride-is-a-dark-day-for-democracy-and-press-freedom-in-australia?CMP=share_btn_url   Guardian article by      Kieran Pender and Peter Greste The link above is to an article in TheGuardian about the case and the court decision. PEN Melbourne supports the petition by GETUP (below) calling for the immediate pardon of McBride. David McBride – the whistleblower who helped expose alleged war crimes in Afghanistan – was sentenced to 5 years …

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Congratulations to all the RMIT students who worked hard on their event for this World Press Freedom Day, Friday 3rd of May, at the RMIT Alumni Courtyard, Old Melbourne Gaol! Three speeches given by students in the form of letters are included below. They are by: Conor Misson, who writes to Julian Assange and asks the question ‘How much does truth cost?’ Maddox Gifford who writes to Mahvash Sabet a heartfelt letter about cruelty and hope. Alex Allingham-MacLaren who writes …

Latest events

MaThida in conversation with Michelle Aung Thin, Thursday 6 June at The Wheeler Centre. Bookings necessary. https://www.wheelercentre.com/events/ma-thida-myanmars-struggle-for-democracy/ On Thursday 6 June, PEN Melbourne hosts an event with MaThida, author and Chair of PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee, a position she knows only too well having been imprisoned in appalling conditions from 1993 until 1999.  MaThida was sentenced to 20 years in Insein Prison for endangering public peace, having contact with illegal organisations, and distributing unlawful literature. Thida had been actively supporting Aung San …

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Defend Press Freedom Amidst Israel’s War on Gaza: World Press Freedom Day 2024 “Amid the mounting death toll, destruction, and reports of harrowing atrocities, journalists in Gaza risk their lives and limbs to cover the war. Deliberately targeting journalists, and indiscriminate attacks that kill or injure journalists, amount to war crimes. All those responsible must be held to account. Protecting press freedom and ensuring the safety of journalists is fundamental during times of war and essential in providing the public …

Latest news

MaThida in conversation with Michelle Aung Thin, Thursday 6 June at The Wheeler Centre. Bookings necessary. https://www.wheelercentre.com/events/ma-thida-myanmars-struggle-for-democracy/ On Thursday 6 June, PEN Melbourne hosts an event with MaThida, author and Chair of PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee, a position she knows only too well having been imprisoned in appalling conditions from 1993 until 1999.  MaThida was sentenced to 20 years in Insein Prison for endangering public peace, having contact with illegal organisations, and distributing unlawful literature. Thida had been actively supporting Aung …

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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