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:

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

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

Raúl Rivero | Status: Released | Cuba

Raúl Rivero is among the first generation of journalists trained at Havana University's School of Journalism after the 1959 revolution. He co-founded the satirical magazine Caimán Barbudo in 1966.… More

Léster Luis González Pentón | Status: Released | Cuba

Léster Luis González Pentón is an independent journalist and political activist. In 2002, he co-founded El Movimiento por la Democracia (the Movement for Democracy) and later the ALFA-3 Movement,… More

Dr. José Luis García Paneque | Status: Released | Cuba

Dr. José Luis García Paneque is an independent journalist and librarian. He is a member of the Manuel Marquez Sterling Journalists’ Association, an independent association that the Cuban government… More

Jean-Claude Kavumbagu | Status: Released | Burundi

Following his July 2010 arrest, Jean-Claude Kavumbagu was charged with treason, which carries a life sentence in Burundi. Kavumbagu's trial was held on April 13, 2011. On May 13, 2011, the… More

Huang Jinqiu | Status: Released | China

Born in 1974 in Shangdong Province, Huang Jinqiu is an Internet essayist, writer and journalist. A graduate of Beijing's respected Lu Xun Literature Institute and the University of Lincoln… More