Release Bigeldy Gabdullin, President of Kazakh PEN
Join Kazakh PEN and more than 100 writers and artists calling for the release of Bigeldy Gabdullin.
PEN America is deeply concerned over the arrest on November 15, 2016 of journalist Bigeldy Gabdullin, the President of the Kazakh PEN Club, in connection with alleged extortion. In an act of solidarity with our collegues in Kazakhstan and members of Bigeldy’s family, we translated a petition initially started by Kazakh PEN from Russian to English. You can sign it on this page and we will forward your signature to Kazakh PEN.
Please find below the text of petition in EN:
To the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Dear Nursultan Abishevich,
We, the writers of Kazakhstan and members of Kazakh PEN, are deeply concerned at the news of the arrest of our colleague Bigeldy Gabdullin, President of Kazakh PEN.
His work as of President of Kazakh PEN was extensively related to the promotion of Kazakh writers abroad, and he achieved great successes in this field. A number of books written by prominent Kazakh writers were translated and published in the US, France, Germany, the UK, and Russia, and many more are ready to be published in other countries. This positively affects the image of Kazakhstan abroad and enriches its cultural links with the rest of the world.
We were shocked to hear about the situation of the President of Kazakh PEN. On the eve of the 25th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s Independence, one of the most well-known writer and publicist, and president of a prestigious international nonprofit organization is prosecuted.
Renowned English writer and founder of PEN International John Galsworthy emphasized in PEN’s Charter that “a fundamental principle of our movement is to protect the rights and freedom of the writer, regardless of their country of residence”.
President of Kazakh PEN Bigeldy Gabdullin has always followed the principles of PEN. Today he is forced to take on the burden of a persecuted writer and human rights activist.
We are confident in the honesty and integrity of our colleague Bigeldy Gabdullin, and therefore strongly urge the government of Kazakhstan to investigate his case promptly and fairly in the name of truth and justice
We would like to particularly emphasize that there are not many supporters of the President’s regime with the experience and status of Bigeldy Gabdullin.
***Join PEN members and sign the petition online to protect freedom of expression and justice.
For Russian speakers, go directly to online petition of Kazakh PEN.