Following the forced closure of Eritrea’s independent press and the mass arrests of journalists and political dissidents in September 2001, PEN Canada adopted ten Eritrean writers as Honorary Members. Seyoum Tsehaye, a TV and radio journalist remains in prison, without charge or trial, to this day.
On January 6, 2015, 6 Eritrean journalists were released on bail after being imprisoned in 2009, when the government conducted a raid on journalists. Brendan de Caires interviewed Eritrean journalist and member of the PEN Writers in Exile Committee Aaron Berhane about the release and the implications for the country’s future.
The Supreme Court of India’s landmark decision on Tuesday signals a move towards greater protection of free expression in the world’s largest democracy. But there is still much to do.
Martha Kumsa came to Canada in 1991. As a journalist from Ethiopia, she had been held in prison under atrocius conditions for nine years and eight months before being released in 1989 with the help of PEN Canada. The following is a reflection on fractured identity, from being Oromo, to Ethiopian, to a Black writer in Canada.
In 2008, journalist Jose Armando was gunned down in front of his home as he prepared to drive his daughter to school in Juarez. He was one of eight journalists killed in 2008. Writer-in-exile Luis Najera remembers his time working with Armando at El Diaro Juarez.
Canada’s involvement in Five Eyes surveillance With the recent revelation of the existence of LEVITATION by the CBC proving once and for all that Canada is not just a “junior partner” in Five Eyes cybersurveillance, but is deeply involved at all levels, we at PEN Canada have grown ever more concerned about the role the […]
A Q & A with Paola Gómez Restrepo, the 2015 PEN Canada Writer-in-Residence at George Brown College. She is the founder of a shelter for women and street children and has written on violence against women for a number of publications. Paola is also a human rights lawyer.
In October 2013, blogger Dieu Cay received PEN Canada’s One Humanity Award for his courageous dissent and continued advocacy for human rights in Vietnam despite a crackdown on online writing by authorities. Lawyer and human rights activist Christine Dang accepted the award in Toronto on Dieu Cay’s behalf who was, at the time, serving a 12-year […]
On October 23, 2014, PEN Canada presented Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi with the One Humanity Award, given to writers whose work “transcends the boundaries of national divides and inspires connections across cultures.” This piece, written by Ali A. Rizvi, was orginally posted in the Huffington Post Canada. “The Kingdom’s political system is rooted […]
In the lead up to the Day of the Imprisoned Writer, PEN International is publishing an open letter to five imprisoned writers every day. This piece, originally posted on the PEN International website, is a letter written from Yann Martel to Azimjon Askarov–an Uzbeki jounalist from Kyrgyzstan who spent his career exposing police corruption.