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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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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 …

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Maria Ressa is a veteran investigative journalist and the CEO of the influential Philippine news portal Rappler. In June this year, she and a colleague were found guilty of cyberlibel, in a dubious court decision that many believe was politically motivated. Ressa has been a dogged and long-time critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, and of his supporters. The relationship between Ressa, as a journalist, and Duterte, as a political figure, dates back to the 1980s, but after Duterte’s election in …

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By DiEM25 Communications | 27/10/2020 The fight for justice for Julian Assange takes place in the Greek courts today, where Yanis Varoufakis will testify against the private company that was hired to spy on Assange while he resided in the Ecuadorian Embassy. On Tuesday 27 October at 13h local time, DiEM25 co-founder Yanis Varoufakis will testify to the Special Investigations Unit for International Judicial Assistance as a witness for the prosecution, through a teleconference hosted in Greek courts. He will …

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  Human Rights Lawyer’s Health in Serious Danger October 20, 2020 — Nasrin Sotoudeh, the imprisoned human rights attorney, has been moved to the notoriously harsh Gharchak Prison (also spelled Qarchak) in the Iranian city of Varamin, south of Tehran, despite grave medical issues that require her hospitalization, her husband, Reza Khandan said today, October 20, 2020. Sotoudeh, who has serious cardiac and pulmonary complications after being on a hunger strike from August 11 to September 26, 2020 to protest …

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As part of a new policy to isolate political prisoners by incarcerating them alongside common criminals at various prisons in Iran, three women convicted of national security crimes for opposing Iran’s mandatory hijab laws were recently transferred out of Evin Prison’s Women’s Ward, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. Yasaman Ariyani and her mother Monireh Arabshahi, were transferred to Rajaiee Shahr Prison in Karaj, west of Tehran, and Samaneh Norouz-Moradi to the central prison in Roudsar, …

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