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Writers Rally for Liu Xiaobo

LISTEN | Download the mp3 Readings & Transcripts

• Anthony Appiah introduces the event
• A.M. Homes
• Edward Albee
• Jessica Hagedorn & Victoria Redel
• Don DeLillo
• Honor Moore
• E.L. Doctorow    Resources

• Press Release
• Event photo gallery on Flickr
• Liu Xiaobo’s case page
• The seven setences for which Liu Xiaobo was convicted
• The verdict against Liu Xiaobo
• Contact Sarah Hoffman for more information

Special thanks to those PEN Members who came out to show their support

December 31, 2009 | New York Public Library | NYC

E.L. Doctorow, Don DeLillo, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Edward Albee, A.M. Homes, Honor Moore, and other PEN Members gather on the steps of the New York Public Library to demand the release of writer Liu Xiaobo, who was sentenced on Christmas Day to 11 years in prison in China. The program features short statements and readings by PEN Members. After the event, a PEN delegation delivered a letter to the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the U.N.

The press event rings in a year that marks the 50th anniversary of PEN’s activism on behalf of writers who are jailed or face persecution because of their work. Joseph Brodsky, Wole Soyinka, Vaclav Havel, Jose Revueltas, Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Alicia Portnoy, Salman Rushdie, Orhan Pamuk, and Taslima Nasreen, are just a few of the hundreds of writers PEN has freed or defended over the years.

There are currently almost 1,000 writers on PEN’s list of writers and journalists in danger because of their work. Leading the list is Liu Xiaobo, one of China’s most prominent writers and a past president and member of the Independent Chinese PEN Center, which is doing on-the-ground PEN advocacy in China. Liu was convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” for co-authoring “Charter 08,” a petition calling for political and human rights reforms in China, and for seven sentences in five articles he published on the internet that are critical of Chinese authorities.

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