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:

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

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

Natalia Estemirova | Status: Murdered | Russia

On July 15, 2009, Natalia Estemirova, a journalist and human rights defender, was abducted by four gunmen on her way to work in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya. Estemirova… More

Htin Lin Oo | Status: Released | Myanmar

Htin Lin Oo, a former information officer for the National League for Democracy, was sentenced to two years in prison with hard labor in June 2015 on charge of… More

Dawit Isaak | Status: In Prison | Eritrea

Dawit has been held in prison for more than a decade without being charged or brought to trial by the Eritrean government. He is a playwright, writer, and co-owner… More

The Unity Five | Status: Released | Myanmar

Four journalists Lu Maw Naing, Yarzar Oo, Paing Thet Kyaw, and Sithu Soe for the newspaper, Unity, along with the CEO, Tint San, of the newspaper were sentenced to… More

Shiva Nazar Ahari | Status: Released | Iran

Shiva Nazar Ahari is an Iranian journalist, blogger, and human rights activist and former political prisoner. More

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