Highly topical issue of The Dissident Blog focuses on Hong Kong

This highly topical issue of The Dissident Blog focuses on the current developments in Hong Kong #30 Hong Kong Voices with China in View / www.dissidentblog.org While this special issue about the freedom of expression in Hong Kong is released hundreds of thousands of people are demonstrating in the streets of Hong Kong. Among them are several of the contributing writers. The 1984 agreement reached between China and the United Kingdom, where Hong Kong would retain its constitution guaranteeing the freedoms of press, speech, […]

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PEN International Turkey: Ayşe Düzkan freed

Turkey: Ayşe Düzkan freed     PEN International welcomes the release of Turkish writer, journalist and publisher Ayşe Düzkan, who was serving an 18-month prison sentence for ‘making propaganda for a terrorist organisation’. Düzkan was imprisoned for taking part in a solidarity campaign in 2016 with the now-closed pro-Kurdish daily Özgür Gündem. She was sent to Bakırköy prison in Istanbul on 29 January 2019 and conditionally released on 11 June 2019. Ayşe Düzkan’s sentence is a stark reminder of the continuing assault on freedom of […]

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PEN International mourns the death of friend and Vice-President Gloria Guardia de Alfaro (1940-2019)

PEN International mourns the death of friend and Vice-President Gloria Guardia de Alfaro (1940-2019) 14 May 2019 – The PEN community mourns the death of our friend and colleague, Gloria Guardia de Alfaro. The distinguished novelist and journalist died at the age of 79 on 13 May in Bogotá, Colombia. As a PEN member and Vice President, she stood as an unwavering champion of literature and freedom of expression. “Gloria Guardia was a true believer and champion of PEN’S work.  Her love of literature […]

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PEN International Turkey: Free Ayşe Düzkan / Turquie: Libérez Ayşe Düzkan / Turquía: Libertad para Ayşe Düzkan

Call to Action Turkey: Free Ayşe Düzkan ‘Free journalism provides the best chance we have that people can access truth and reality about the societies we inhabit. Everyone deserves that. Strange as it may seem, my spirits are high and my mood is good. We have a saying in Turkish that might be translated as “This will come and pass, too”. I am not brave, I am not a heroine, I try to do what seems right and doing that feels like happiness.’ Ayşe […]

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Russia: New laws threaten freedom of expression and media freedom

01 April 2019 – With the adoption of two new laws criminalising ´insult´ to the state and the dissemination of ´fake news´, as well as plans to increase government control of the Internet, the Russian authorities are imposing further, excessive restrictions on freedom of expression and undermining media freedom, PEN International, PEN Moscow and St Petersburg PEN said today. On 18 March 2019, President Vladimir Putin signed into law two controversial bills after they were approved earlier in the month by the State Duma […]

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Letter from the President

Dear friends and colleagues, As 2018 draws to a close, I look back on this year and think of how privileged we were to be together at congress in India, celebrating the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth and life dedicated to his “Experiments with Truth”. For those who were unable to join, I hope you were able to follow from a distance. So much of what we do at PEN is to defend truth, and to be close to Gandhi’s legacy was an […]

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