Latest News from 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.
“Over 700 children are currently detained indefinitely by the Australian government. Indefinitely. Inhumanely. And in defiance of international human rights conventions.”PEN Melbourne stands in support of the We’re Better Than This campaign which is advocating for an end to the detention of children in Australia’s immigration detention centres.For more on the campaign, please follow the campaign on Twitter and Facebook.To read PEN Melbourne’s most recent statement regarding asylum seekers, click here.
Freedom of speech and Australia’s Racial Discrimination ActDr Tim Soutphommasane“It is said by many that freedom of expression means nothing if it doesn’t entail a freedom to offend others. The price of having free speech is that one may have to tolerate things that we may not like. As the writer Richard King suggests in his recent book On Offence, ‘the claim to find something hurtful or offensive should be the beginning of the debate, not the end of it’. But what …
PEN Melbourne Joint Submission in Response to Attorney-General’s Proposed Amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act 2013The following submission has been signed by 176 authors, writers, journalists, editors, publishers, directors, artists, filmmakers, academics and supporters including PEN Melbourne members and makes a clear and forceful argument as to why the legislation should remain unchanged. Click here to read the submission in full.
Sydney PEN Free Voices LectureSydney Writers Festival 22 May 2014Melbourne PEN 29 June 2014Why are we even having this conversation?The politics of who is allowed to say what in Australia today.On 29 June 2014, Melbourne PEN were honoured to hear leading writer and columnist Anne Summers AO Ph.D speak to free speech and racial vilification in Australia.“It the best way to acknowledge and honour the suffering of those who are imprisoned around the world for trying to exercise freedom of expression would …
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.