Defending Writers

PEN's bedrock work is long-term advocacy on behalf of individual writers and creative artists who are being persecuted because of their work. This page features a number of our featured 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, publish, and create freely.

Take a moment to learn more about these writers and creative artists, and to share information 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

Narges Mohammadi is an independent journalist and the former vice-president... more »

Status: Detained

Aslı Erdoğan is a renowned novelist and human rights activist in Turkey.

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: Murdered

On February 26, 2015, Bangladeshi-American blogger Avijit Roy and his wife... more »

Status: Murdered

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

Saudi Arabia
Status: In Prison

Ashraf Fayadh is a Palestinian poet, artist, and curator living in Saudi... more »


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