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 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.

Read the most recent PEN International case list here.

Status:
Country:
Pinar Selek

Pınar Selek | Status: In Exile | 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

Zone 9 Bloggers

Zone 9 Bloggers | Status: Released | 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

Dzamshid Karimov | Status: Released | 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

Ahmet Sik

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

Shamsuzzoha Manik | Status: On Trial | Bangladesh

Bangladeshi translator, writer, editor, and publisher More

Bigeldy Gabdullin | Status: Conditional Release | 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

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: Imprisoned | 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

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

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