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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.

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300 words for truth By Mammad Aidani 241 Summer 2020 I dedicate my life’s work to all past and present Iranian writers and thinkers who have been imprisoned, tortured, executed and exiled. We live in the age of new catastrophes. An exile’s life is about fighting against oppression in the country of birth, gaining knowledge, demanding justice and freedom for all the world’s people. Being an exile has taught me the true meaning of commitment, resoluteness and resistance of oppression …

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Transforming a manuscript to a book: Editing, compromise, and censorship Paul Morgan Victorian Writer, PEN column September 2021 Oh what a feeling! You’ve finished your story… but this is not the end; it’s only a beginning. A neat pile of A4 sheets has a very long way to go before it is transformed into a book. We are generally too close to – and too much in love with – our own writing to see what needs fixing up to turn …

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The Hate Speech Toolkit Practical advice for people who are being harassed online (produced by PEN Finland).

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  Nedim’s story Nedim Türfent is a Kurdish journalist and poet. He was imprisoned in 2016 after publicising police harassment of workers in south-east Turkey. Jackie Mansourian, Co-convenor of PEN Melbourne’s Writers-in-Prison program, explains how Nedim Türfent became an Honorary Member of PEN Melbourne: In January 2020 Nedim Türfent wrote his first card to us. We were moved by his compassion and concern about the bushfires at that time: ‘I’m so sorry about [the] massive forest fires in Australia. Please …

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A special afternoon at La Mama, very much in the PEN Melbourne spirit of hearing the voices of the people. We were supported so well by the Myanmarese community who read from the poetry of their poets, some in prison, some murdered and others courageously maintaining the protest movement against the Junta. Photos by Arnold Zable

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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