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 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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In memory of Judith Rodríguez (1936-2018)

PEN International is deeply saddened by the passing of our friend, colleague and fearless defender of free expression, Judith Rodríguez. PEN International President, Jennifer Clement, said: ‘The news of Judith’s death is not just heartbreaking for PEN and its members, but also for me personally. I have lost a dear friend and confidant. Judith dedicated her life to the promotion of literature, and the defence of the voiceless. While we mourn this monumental loss, her legacy will continue through her extraordinary poetry and through PEN’s work […]

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Uganda must release academic Stella Nyanzi and drop all charges against her

Stella Nyanzi 2 November 2018 – PEN International and PEN Uganda are deeply concerned by the recent arrest and ongoing trial of the prominent Ugandan academic, writer and activist, Dr. Stella Nyanzi. Nyanzi was arrested on 2 November 2018 and charged with “cyber harassment” and “offensive communication” following messages she allegedly posted on Facebook about President Yoweri Museveni’s mother. Following a trial hearing on 9 November, Nyanzi was remanded in custody until the next hearing (22 November); she faces up to one year in jail […]

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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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