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Faraj Ahmad Birqdar | Status: Released | Syria

Syrian poet Faraj Ahmad Birqdar spent over 13 years in jail from 1987 to 2000 due to his work on behalf of free expression and non-violent political action. He… More

Zoran Mutić | Status: In Exile | Bosnia and Herzegovina

Translator Zoran Mutić fled Sarajevo during the Balkan Wars of the 1990s, just before the siege in 1992. He was a recipient of the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award in… More

Maina wa Kinyatti | Status: Released | Kenya

Kenyan writer and historian Maina wa Kinyatti was released on October 17, 1988, after serving six and a half years in prison, and fled to Tanzania fearing rearrest. After… More

Jack Mapanje | Status: Released | Malawi

Jack Mapanje is a poet and storyteller of exile narratives and political power structures. He was detained without charge or trial for over three years until his release in… More

Nizametdin Akhmetov | Status: Released | Russia

Nizametdin Akhmetov, a Bashkir poet, was sent to a labor camp at age 18. After 20 years of imprisonment in labor camps and psychiatric hospitals, Akhmetov was released on… More

Matsemela Manaka | Status: Deceased | South Africa

Matsemela Manaka was a writer, director, actor, poet and cultural theorist. His career in playwriting was spurred much in part by the Soweto uprising in 1976. Manaka received the… More

YEMEN: Death sentence against prominent writer

PEN is deeply concerned about the death sentence issued by a Houthi court in Sana’a against Yahya al-Jubaihi, a prominent Yemeni writer and journalist, after a grossly unfair trial.… More

Nizar Nayouf | Status: In Exile | Syria

Nizar Nayouf is a writer, sociologist, and human rights activist who, at the time of the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award, was serving a 10-year prison sentence with… More