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:

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

Anabel Flores Salazar | Status: Murdered | Mexico

The body of Anabel Flores Salazar, a 32-year-old journalist from Veracruz state in Mexico, was found on February 9, 2016, along a highway in neighboring Puebla state. The coroner… More

Atena Farghadani | Status: Released | Iran

Atena Farghadani is an Iranian artist and political activist. She was first arrested in August 2014 for a cartoon she drew lampooning a family planning law, which depicted lawmakers… More

Anita Sarkeesian | Status: Under Threat | United States

Anita Sarkeesian is a Canadian-American media critic, blogger, and creator of video series Tropes vs. Women in Video Games. The series has been the source for the rape and… More

Jineth Bedoya Lima | Status: Under Threat | Colombia

Jineth Bedoya Lima is a Colombian journalist who reports on law enforcement, paramilitary groups, and abductions within Colombia. Bedoya Lima was abducted twice while reporting—once on May 25, 2000,… More

Fatima Naoot | Status: Conditional Release | Egypt

An Egyptian poet, Fatima Naoot has published 19 books to date, including seven poetry collections, nine translated anthologies from English into Arabic, and three books in literature criticism. In… More

Mahmoud Abou Zeid (Shawkan) | Status: Detained | Egypt

Shawkan is a journalist and photographer who often depicts daily cultural life and produces street portraits. He is a contributor to publications such as Time Magazine, Die Zeit, BILD,… More

Alaa Abd El Fattah | Status: In Prison | Egypt

Alaa Abd El Fattah is an Egyptian activist, software developer, and blogger. After being sentenced to a month of jail in absentia, he received a five years sentence in… More

Nikolai Alexeyev | Status: Under Threat | Russia

Nikolai Alexeyev was the first person charged and fined in Russia under the local municipal law that would eventually become Russia’s infamous "anti-gay law." More

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