With PEN’s Assistance, Refugee Iraqi Writers Now Safe in U.S.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PEN’s efforts to secure safe havens for threatened Iraqi writers and journalists bore fruit this past month, as two PEN colleagues and their families were flown from Syria to the United States for resettlement as refugees. The two, a journalist targeted for death for his essays advocating democracy and denouncing terrorism in Iraq and a poet and painter threatened for his poetry and for working for a US contractor in Iraq painting schools, had been living in hiding in Syria for more than a year. PEN is continuing its efforts on behalf of several other Iraqi writers and journalists currently in danger in Iraq and neighboring countries and pressing Congress to pass legislation expanding and accelerating the resettlement of Iraqi refugees.