On August 7, the eve of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, PEN American Center honored the more than 40 writers and journalists currently being held in Chinese prisons for exercising their right to freedom of expression. Acclaimed American writers came together on stage at this special event to break the silence—or what has been called the Great Firewall—that threatened the work and lives of Chinese writers by reading new and previously untranslated statements and writings by several of the jailed writers and other dissidents and Members of the Independent Chinese PEN Center.