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Empty Chair Day: Day of action to support Stanislav Aseyev

Stanislav Aseyev

For the last two years, Ukrainian journalist Stanislav Aseyev, a contributor to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty who writes under the pen name Vasin, has been held hostage by Russia-backed separatists in the Donbas region of East Ukraine. On October 22, 2019, the so-called “Supreme Court” of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) sentenced Aseyev to 15 years in prison.

PEN has a longstanding tradition of presenting an Empty Chair to symbolize and honor a writer who cannot be present because they have been imprisoned, detained, disappeared, threatened, or killed.

On November 15, the Day of the Empty Chair, PEN America and a number of partners around the world will express their support for Aseyev with readings, rallies, and special events across the globe. Follow the hashtag #FreeAseyev to learn more about these events.

A round-up of the day’s events will be published on our site after November 15.