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Women Writers Committee: Statement in relation to Charlie Hebdo #JeSuisCharlie

January 16, 2015 IN WIP
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“The Women Writers Committee of PEN International, the largest worldwide association of writers with centres in over 100 countries,expresses its outrage at the murder of the columnist and psychotherapist Elsa Cayat and the other victims of the horrendous attack on January 7, 2015 against freedom of expression at the office of the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris. We stand in solidarity with the families of the Charlie Hebdo victims, with our French colleagues and neighbours and many others throughout the world who have demonstrated in support of freedom of expression in such a moving way in the wake of this attack.

With our deep sorrow and rejection of the heinous crime that occurred in Paris, we call upon all parties to respect the feelings of all people and to commit themselves to the spirit of the United Nations Resolution against the defamation of religions in order to preserve social peace, cease shedding more innocent blood, and avoid widening the gap between citizens because of their beliefs or opinions.”

Lucina Kathmann
Women Writers Committee
International PEN
January 16, 2014

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People say that (writers) are pretty powerless: we don’t have an army, we don’t have a bureaucracy. But if that were true, then why would writers be arrested?... Because the spoken word is powerful.

— John Ralston Saul on the work of PEN International