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:

Aung Myint | Status: Released | Myanmar

Aung Myint (also known as Phya Pon Ni Loan Oo) is a journalist, poet, and head of the information department of the National League for Democracy (NLD). Aung started… More

Zaw Thet Htwe | Status: Released | Myanmar

Zaw Thet Htwe, respected journalist and political advocate, worked as an editor and journalist at First Eleven Sports News, a popular sports journal Burma. After Cyclone Nargis struck on… More

Muhammad Bekjanov | Status: Released | Uzbekistan

A prominent Uzbek journalist in the period immediately following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Muhammad Bekjanov came to be recognized as a leading voice in the struggle for… More

Zarganar | Status: Released | Myanmar

Maung Thura (“Zarganar”) is a poet, opposition activist, and leading comedian in Burma. He began a career in political activism through comedy while completing his undergraduate degree. As a… More

Dzamshid Karimov | Status: Disappeared | Uzbekistan

Dzamshid Karimov is a journalist who was held in psychiatric detention for over a year. He is known for being an outspoken critic of the government, and for his… More

Ruslan Sharipov | Status: In Exile | Uzbekistan

Ruslan Sharipov was one of several dozen students chosen to participate in a government-sponsored exchange program with U.S. universities in the fall of 1999. When Uzbek authorities canceled that… More

Saw Wei | Status: Released | Myanmar

Saw Wei is a Burmese poet and performance artist well known for his romantic poetry. Before his arrest, Saw Wei headed the White Rainbow poetry recital group, an organization… More

Ragip Zarakolu | Status: On Trial | Turkey

Ragip Zarakolu, director and owner of Belge Publishing House and a longtime activist against censorship, is on trial for "aiding and abetting an illegal organization" under Turkey's sweeping anti-terror… More

Nay Phone Latt | Status: Released | Myanmar

Nay Phone Latt, an influential Burmese blogger and poet, was released on January 13, 2013, during a widespread amnesty. He had spent nearly four years behind bars for his… More

Lê Chi Quang | Status: Released | Vietnam

Lê Chi Quang is a lawyer and computer teacher who has written several essays criticizing the government. These essays were distributed through the Internet. More

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