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:

Shokjang (Druklo) | Status: Released | China/Tibet Autonomous Region

Shokjang, a Tibetan writer and intellectual, was arrested in March 2015 and sentenced to three years in prison on February 17, 2016 for writing an essay and blogpost. More

Alexey Kungurov | Status: In Prison | Russia

Alexey Kungurov is a blogger from Russian Siberia who was charged with public calls to terrorism for his blogpost in LiveJournal named “Who did Putin Falcons Actually Bomb” where… More

Grigory Pasko | Status: Under Threat | Russia

Grigory Pasko is the director of the Community of Investigative Journalists, an organization that teaches investigative techniques to reporters and bloggers across Russia. On September 26, 2016, he was… More

Narges Mohammadi | Status: Convicted | Iran

Narges Mohammadi is an independent journalist and the former vice-president and spokesperson of the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC), which advocates for human rights reform and represents political… More

Nazlı Ilıcak | Status: Convicted | Turkey

On July 25, 2016, arrest warrants were put out for 42 Turkish journalists for their suspected affiliation with the Gülenist movement. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) accuses the Gülenist movement of… More

Şebnem Korur Fincancı | Status: On Trial | Turkey

Şebnem Korur Fincancı is a human rights defender and forensic doctor in Turkey. On June 20, 2016, she was arrested along with Erol Önderoğlu and Ahmet Nesin. The three… More

Aslı Erdoğan | Status: On Trial | Turkey

Aslı Erdoğan is a renowned novelist and human rights activist in Turkey. She is also a columnist for Özgür Gündem newspaper, a pro-Kurdish opposition daily, and a member of its advisory board.… More

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

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