Writers At Risk

PEN’s bedrock work is long-term advocacy on behalf of individual writers who are being persecuted because of their work. This page features several of our highest priority cases. With the help of our members and supporters, we are carrying out campaigns to win their release and ensure they are safe and can write and publish freely.

Take a moment to share information about these writers and take action on their behalf.

This is only a small sampling of writers under threat around the world. Click here for the most recent PEN International case list.

Status:
Country:

Ayşe Berktay | Status: On Trial | Turkey

Ayşe Berktay, a translator, cultural and women's rights activist, is currently on trial in Turkey for "membership in an illegal organization." She faces up to 15 years in prison… More

Normando Hernández González | Status: Released | Cuba

Normando Hernández González is a Cuban writer and independent journalist imprisoned during Cuba's Black Spring on March 18, 2003. He was released in a wave of amnesty on July… More

Enoh Meyomesse | Status: Released | Cameroon

Enoh Meyomesse, 57, is a writer, blogger, historian and political activist who has published more than 15 books of poetry, prose, essays, and works on political and cultural themes… More

Multiple Journalists | Status: In Prison | Eritrea

Yousif Mohammed Ali, Matheos Habteab, Dawit Habtemichael, Medhanie Haile, Temesegen Ghebereyesus, Amanuel Asrat, Sahle Tseazagab (Wedi-Itay), Dawit Isaak, Fesshaye "Joshua" Yohannes , & Said Abdelkadir All of… More

Eskinder Nega | Status: Released | Ethiopia

Eskinder Nega, a journalist and dissident blogger who is one of Ethiopia’s leading advocates for press freedom and freedom of expression, served almost 7 years of an 18-year sentence… More

Akbar Ganji | Status: In Exile | Iran

Akbar Ganji is considered Iran's leading investigative journalist. He is also the author of the best-selling book Dungeon of Ghosts, a collection of Ganji's newspaper articles published in early… More

Hojjatoleslam Hasan Yousefi Eshkevari | Status: Released | Iran

Eshkevari was released from prison on February 6, 2005. He was freed after serving two-thirds of his seven-year jail term. A condition of his release is that Eshkevari will… More

Nasrin Sotoudeh | Status: Released | Iran

Lawyer and journalist Nasrin Sotoudeh was serving a six-year sentence in Tehran's notorious Evin Prison for "spreading lies against the state" before she was released early on September 18,… More

Nasser Zarafshan | Status: Released | Iran

Nasser Zarafshan was released on March 15, 2007. Zarafshan is reportedly now in good health and is the secretary of the Iranian Writers Association. According to January 2014 reports,… More

Kareem Amer | Status: Released | Egypt

Kareem Amer is an Egyptian blogger and former al-Azhyar University student known for his secular views and his critical writings about Islam and Egypt's highest religious authorities. His writings… More

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