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:

Rokudenashiko (Megumi Igarashi) | Status: Convicted | Japan

Megumi Igarashi, who works under the pseudonym Rokudenashiko, or “good-for-nothing girl,” is a Japanese artist known for using her vagina as a motif for her art. Megumi Igarashi was… More

Amjad Sabri | Status: Murdered | Pakistan

Amjad Sabri is one of Pakistan’s most famous and respected musicians, celebrated for traditional Sufi devotional songs known as qawwalis. On June 22, 2016, Sabri was gunned down in… More

Ai Weiwei | Status: Continued Harassment | China

Dissident Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has been free to travel since Beijing authorities returned his passport in July 2015. However, Ai was previously banned from foreign travel… More

Rezaul Karim Siddique | Status: Murdered | Bangladesh

On April 23, 2016, Professor Rezaul Karim Siddique was murdered in an attack similar to the attacks on and murders of targeting writers. Assailants with machetes attacked Siddique, a… More

Avijit Roy | Status: Murdered | Bangladesh

On February 26, 2015, Bangladeshi-American blogger Avijit Roy and his wife Rafida Ahmed Bonya were brutally attacked by assailants wielding machetes outside of the Dhaka Boi Mela book fair.… More

Sepideh Jodeyri | Status: In Exile | Iran

Sepideh Jodeyri is an Iranian poet who translated the French graphic novel Blue is The Warmest Color by Julie Maroh into Persian. Jodeyri’s translation of the novel, which tells… More

Eric Ohena Lembembe | Status: Murdered | Cameroon

On July 15, 2013, the body of Eric Ohena Lembembe was found in his Yaoundé home. He had been tortured—with his neck and feet broken and his face, hands,… More

Xulhaz Mannan | Status: Murdered | Bangladesh

On April 25, 2016, unidentified assailants hacked leading gay rights activist Xulhaz Mannan to death in his Dhaka apartment. His friend and fellow gay rights activist, Tanay Mojumdar, was also… More

Huang Zerong (Tie Liu) | Status: Detained | China

Chinese writer Huang Zerong (also known by his pen name Tie Liu) was disappeared by authorities from his Chengdu home in early May 2016. More

Marcos Hernández Bautista | Status: Murdered | Mexico

Journalist Marcos Hernández Bautista was shot in the head on January 21, 2016, as he climbed into his car at night outside a bar in the Mexican state of… More

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