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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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The Hon. Anthony Albanese, MP Prime Minister of Australia PO Box 5100, Marrickville, NSW, 2204.   2 October, 2023   Dear Prime Minister We of Pax Christi, Victoria, wish to express both our concern and dismay that after 12 years of persecution, Julian Assange is still in detention in the notorious Belmarsh prison.  He is in solitary confinement, when ironically, he has never been charged or convicted except for a minor charge of breaking bail for which he was sentenced …

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Together with PEN Melbourne, we invite you to join Behrouz Boochani, Kylie Moore-Gilbert and host Karen Percy for a conversation about the importance of freedom of speech and press, and the role writers play in challenging oppressive regimes. Supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund Featuring Behrouz Boochani Kylie Moore-Gilbert Karen Percy About the Event Kurdish-Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani was imprisoned on Manus Island for over six years, and during that time he became acutely aware that oppression takes root …

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Dear Friends, This week has broken all our hearts. Already reeling from the horrific wars being waged in Ukraine, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, Libya, the Central African Republic, among terrible, terrible others—now the Middle East has erupted and become an epicenter of yet another humanitarian crisis. Innocents on both sides are now fodder for the inexorable destruction, loss, and unbearable grief wrought by war. The brutal escalation of the ongoing conflict between Palestine and Israel, while most immediately …

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From abc News Australian journalist Cheng Lei has returned to Australia more than three years after being arrested in China, reuniting with her family. Key points: Cheng Lei was detained after being accused of “supplying state secrets overseas” The prime minister says she was released after legal proceedings against her concluded Ms Cheng has arrived in Melbourne and has been reunited with her family who are “very happy” Ms Cheng was working as a broadcast journalist at Chinese state-owned media, CGTN when …

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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