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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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By Kieran Pender December 17, 2020https://www.smh.com.au/national/the-cost-of-courage-australia-must-do-more-to-protect-whistleblowers-20201217-p56odp.html As we reach the end of 2020, four individuals – Bernard Collaery, Witness K, David McBride and Richard Boyle – are being prosecuted by our government. These whistleblowers spoke up in the public interest, and now face the very real prospect of jail time. If we want to live in a transparent, accountable democracy, that should trouble us all. Collaery and Witness K revealed that Australia bugged Timor-Leste’s cabinet, to help our government in …

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Name: Yang Hengjun Occupation: Novelist, blogger and political commentator Situation: Detained. Charged with espionage #LiuXiaoboanniversary #YangHengjun Yang Hengjun is an Australian novelist, blogger and political commentator who is committed to the advancement of human rights and political reform in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). A keen commentator on Chinese politics and the virtues of democratic pluralism, Yang’s writing has been regularly featured in The Diplomat and his blog posts garnered a significant following on Chinese social media, earning himself …

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Gratitude to all those who worked to have Kylie Moore-Gilbert released for her unjust and cruel imprisonment. Kylie’s generous words on her release reveal her courage and resilience in face of abhorrent treatment in prison.   Kylie Moore-Gilbert, an Australian-British academic detained in Iran for more than two years, has paid tribute to the Australian diplomats who worked to secure her release, while Prime Minister Scott Morrison has described her freeing as “a miracle”. The Melbourne University academic’s release brings …

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Dec 11, 2020       8.26 pm        Arnold Zable sent PEN Melbourne Committee the following email: Dear PEN comrades, One of those moments we all work for. One of those wonderful days — all the more sweet because it was not expected, and happened on Farhad’s birthday. Was there with Jennell Quinsee and Craig Foster as he walked out. This is what I posted on social media. Along wth these photos. Con, our website post (below) has been so quickly superceded. …

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Read  the PEN Melbourne Journal: Summer 2020-21 here

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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