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:

Jean Mario Paul | Status: Released | Haiti

Journalist and Radio correspondent, Jean Mario Paul is a native of Petit Gôave, 20 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince. Paul was well-known for his stories broadcast on Radio Antilles exposing… More

Deyda Hydara | Status: Murdered | Gambia

A newspaper publisher and press freedom champion, Deyda Hydara was gunned down in December 2004 for challenging increasingly restrictive press laws in the Gambia. More

Pınar Selek | Status: On Trial | Turkey

In July 1998, writer, sociologist, and feminist Pınar Selek was arrested in connection with an explosion at the Istanbul Spice Bazaar, a tragedy that led to the deaths of… More

Zehra Doğan | Status: In Prison | Turkey

Zehra Doğan, a Turkish journalist and artist, was sentenced on March 24, 2017 to two years and ten months in prison for creating a painting of a Turkish city… More

Zone 9 Bloggers | Status: On Trial | Ethiopia

The Ethiopian Supreme Court on April 6, 2017, levied criminal charges against two Zone 9 bloggers, Atnaf Berhane and Natnail Feleke, three years after they were first arrested in April… More

Mykola Semena | Status: Convicted | Ukraine

Mykola Semena has been convicted under the “separatist” Article 280.1 of the Russian Criminal Code, for publicly denouncing the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea. He was handed a 2-year suspended… More

Courtesy of BBC

Nguyen Huu Vinh & Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy | Status: In Prison | Vietnam

On March 23, 2016, the People's Court of Hanoi sentenced Nguyen Huu Vinh to five years in prison under Article 258 (2) of Vietnam's Penal Code for "abusing democratic… More

Ahmet Şik | Status: Released | Turkey

Ahmet Şık is an investigative journalist and writer dedicated to reporting on human rights abuses and government actions in Turkey. He was charged on December 30, 2016, with disseminating… More

Shamsuzzoha Manik | Status: On Trial | Bangladesh

Bangladeshi translator, writer, editor, and publisher More

Bigeldy Gabdullin | Status: Convicted | Kazakhstan

Bigeldy Gabdullin, journalist and President of the Kazakh PEN Club, was detained on November 15, 2016, and formally arrested on November 16, on charges of extortion. The international community… More

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