Defending Writers

PEN's bedrock work is long-term advocacy on behalf of individual writers who are being persecuted because of their work. This page features several of our highest priority cases. With the help of our members and supporters, we are carrying out campaigns to win their release and ensure they are safe and can write and publish freely.

Take a moment to share information about these writers and take action on their behalf.

This is only a small sampling of writers under threat around the world. Click here for the most recent PEN International case list.

Status: Convicted

Megumi Igarashi, who works under the pseudonym Rokudenashiko, or “good-for-... more »

Status: Murdered

Amjad Sabri is one of Pakistan’s most famous and respected musicians,... more »


Dissident Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has been free to travel since... more »

Status: In Exile

Sepideh Jodeyri is an Iranian poet who translated the French graphic novel... more »

Status: Murdered

On July 15, 2013, the body of Eric Ohena Lembembe was found in his Yaoundé... more »

Status: Murdered

On April 25, 2016, unidentified assailants hacked leading gay rights activist... more »

Status: Detained

Chinese writer Huang Zerong (also known by his pen name Tie Liu) was... more »

Status: Murdered

Journalist Marcos Hernández Bautista was shot in the head on January 21, 2016... more »

Status: Murdered

The body of Anabel Flores Salazar, a 32-year-old journalist from Veracruz... more »

Status: In Prison

Ahmed Naji is currently serving a two-year prison term in Egypt for “violating... more »


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