New York City, November 15, 2011— Today, PEN International will mark the 30th annual Day of the Imprisoned Writer, an international day of action intended to recognize and support writers who have resisted repression of their basic human right to freedom of expression.

This year PEN is using the occasion both to commemorate the 34 writers who have been killed in the last year and to draw particular attention to a number of recent cases from around the world that demonstrate the kinds of persecution writers and journalists continue to face in carrying out their day-to-day activities.

“For 30 years, on this day, PEN members worldwide have stood, spoken, written in solidarity with our imprisoned, murdered and threatened colleagues,” said Marian Botsford Fraser, Chair of PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee. “The writers we honor today are emblematic of the courage writers everywhere show in defiance of brutal, systemic censorship.”

>> Click here to download a list of journalists killed since last year’s Day of the Imprisoned Writer.

Send a Letter of Appeal
PEN urges you to take action on behalf of the many writers imprisoned around the world. Please visit the above case pages for more information, as well as the names and contact information of domestic and international authorities.

  This year’s Day of the Imprisoned Writer will focus on five priority cases:

Ethiopia: Reeyot Alemu

Political columnist who has been held incommunicado and without charge since her arrest on June 21, 2011.

Mexico: Susana Chavez

Poet and human rights activist who was murdered on January 6, 2011, in an attack many have claimed was the result of her writing and activism.

China/Tibet: Tashi Rabten

Poet and essayist, convicted of inciting separatism for a collection of political articles he wrote concerning the suppression of the March 2008 protests in Tibet.

Bahrain: Abdul-Jalil Al-Singace

Activist and online blogger who has been sentenced to life imprisonment for publicizing the deteriorating human rights situation in his home country. 

Turkey: Nedim Sener and Ahmet Şik

Journalists who have been detained for writing books and articles disclosing police and other high level links to individuals arrested in the Ergenekon case, under which over 200 people are accused of being involved in coup plots.

Sarah Hoffman, (212) 334-1660, ext. 111