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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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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Viet Nam: blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh released into exile

Me Nam reunited with her family at the airport (photo courtesy of Dan Lam Bao) PEN International welcomes the release of blogger and government critic Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, also known by her pen name Me Nâm (‘Mother Mushroom’), on 17 October 2018. Me Nam had been serving a 10-year prison sentence for “conducting propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam” under Article 88 of the Penal Code when she was reportedly taken directly to Ha Noi International Airport and put on a […]

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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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