Myanmar: PEN’s Writers for Peace Committee supports the calls of the UN for peace, respect and justice for all in the country

5 September 2018 – We, the Writers for Peace Committee (WfPC) of PEN International are deeply troubled by the findings of United Nation’s Independent International Fact-Finding Mission report which details crimes systematically carried out by the Myanmar military against ethnic communities in Kachin, Shan and Rakhine states which “undoubtedly amount to the gravest crimes under international law”. Common to all of the military’s operations were the targeting of civilians, sexual violence, an exclusionary rhetoric and impunity for crimes committed. According to the UN report […]

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Open letter to Google on reported plans to launch a censored search engine in China

To: Sundar Pichai, Chief Executive Officer, Google Inc cc: Ben Gomes, Vice President of Search; Kent Walker, Senior Vice President of Global Affairs Dear Mr Pichai, Like many of Google’s own employees, we are extremely concerned by reports that Google is developing a new censored search engine app for the Chinese market. The project, codenamed “Dragonfly”, would represent an alarming capitulation by Google on human rights. The Chinese government extensively violates the rights to freedom of expression and privacy; by accommodating the Chinese authorities’ […]

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Bangladesh Must Release Writer & Photographer Shahidul Alam

 Writer, photographer and activist Shahidul Alam The arrest of award-winning writer, photographer and activist, Shahidul Alam, on 5 August 2018 shines a light on the dangerous escalation of the government’s crackdown on dissenting voices, said PEN International today as it called for his immediate and unconditional release. Salil Tripathi, Chair of PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee stated: “The Bangladeshi authorities must release Shahidul Alam immediately, institute an inquiry into why the officials responsible for action destroyed property and threatened others, establish new norms […]

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Help Us Reform Scottish Civil Defamation Law

Dear PEN Colleagues, Help us reform Scottish defamation law by calling on First Minister Nicola Sturgeon this week to include it in the upcoming Programme for Government. In April of this year, PEN Gambia presented a petition led by African Centres, and signed by over 150 writers, to the Chairperson of the African Commission calling on African states to abolish criminal defamation and “insult laws”. We call on you now to help us reform civil defamation law in Scotland. Scottish defamation law is outdated […]

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