News

Bahrain: Free Imprisoned Rights Defenders and Activists Facing COVID-19 Threat

Bahrain: Free Imprisoned Rights Defenders and Activists Facing COVID-19 Threat

By | April 9, 2020 at 9:56 am

Amid the global threat posed by COVID-19, Bahraini authorities should release human rights defenders, opposition activists, journalists and all others imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and association, a coalition of 20 rights groups said today. On March 17, 2020, Bahrain completed the release of 1,486 prisoners, 901 of whom […]

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India: PEN Delhi on the Importance of Press Freedom During Coronavirus

India: PEN Delhi on the Importance of Press Freedom During Coronavirus

By | April 7, 2020 at 11:57 am

Update – 2 April 2020 It is outrageous that India, the world’s most populous democracy, is restricting the free flow of information at a time of a great health crisis. These attacks on the media show that the government and its loud supporters want to control the narrative, and not the virus, which is the real threat […]

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Joint Statement: Surveillance Technologies to Fight Pandemic Must Respect Human Rights

Joint Statement: Surveillance Technologies to Fight Pandemic Must Respect Human Rights

By | April 3, 2020 at 12:40 pm

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global public health emergency that requires a coordinated and large-scale response by governments worldwide. However, States’ efforts to contain the virus must not be used as a cover to usher in a new era of greatly expanded systems of invasive digital surveillance. We, the undersigned organizations, urge governments to show […]

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Iran: Deep Concerns Over COVID-19 Suspension of Newspapers

Iran: Deep Concerns Over COVID-19 Suspension of Newspapers

By | April 3, 2020 at 12:30 pm

PEN International is deeply concerned by the decision of the Iranian authorities to suspend the printing and distribution of newspapers. A decree was issued on March 30, citing concerns about the spread of coronavirus, and will remain in place until restrictions related to the pandemic are lifted. ‘Freedom of information is a fundamental human right: now […]

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Turkey: Rights Groups Call for Release of Imprisoned Journalists at Risk of COVID-19

Turkey: Rights Groups Call for Release of Imprisoned Journalists at Risk of COVID-19

By | April 3, 2020 at 12:27 pm

Amid growing concerns over the spread of COVID-19 in prisons, the Turkish government is accelerating the preparation of a draft law that will reportedly release up to 100,000 prisoners. This is a welcome step. Overcrowding and unsanitary facilities already pose a serious health threat to Turkey’s prison population of nearly 300,000 prisoners and about tens […]

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Turkey: The Burden of Freedom

Turkey: The Burden of Freedom

By | March 27, 2020 at 4:17 pm

Önder Deligöz is a Turkish journalist and author who currently resides in Canada. He was the 2018 PEN Canada Scholar at The Humber School for Writers. Freedom is the biggest burden on the shoulders of an exiled journalist. While his colleagues yearn to see daylight, and their loved ones, again only one thing keeps his […]

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Call For Submissions: RBC/PEN Canada New Voices Award 2020

Call For Submissions: RBC/PEN Canada New Voices Award 2020

By | March 27, 2020 at 1:40 pm

PEN Canada is now accepting English language submissions for the RBC/PEN Canada New Voices Award. The annual award aims to encourage new writing and to provide a space where young, unpublished writers can submit short stories, creative non-fiction, journalism, and poetry. A jury of distinguished PEN Canada members will judge the shortlisted submissions and applicants […]

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Human Rights Day: The Perspective from Ghana

Human Rights Day: The Perspective from Ghana

By | March 27, 2020 at 11:30 am

To commemorate Human Rights Day, PEN International and PEN Centres are launching an essay series and holding events on human rights issues across the globe. The aftermath of the decriminalization of libel laws in Ghana: the state of freedom of expression and journalistic practice Introduction Ghana’s criminal libel and seditious laws (commonly referred to as […]

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Egypt: Arrest of Author and Activists Disregards Health and Rights

Egypt: Arrest of Author and Activists Disregards Health and Rights

By | March 20, 2020 at 4:04 pm

Egypt’s detention and arrest of several activists – including prominent Egyptian author Ahdaf Soueif – demonstrates that the Egyptian government is more concerned with its reputation than the rights of its citizens, including their freedom of expression and right to information, PEN International said today in a joint statement alongside PEN America and English PEN. […]

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Myanmar: Poet and PEN Member Facing Imprisonment for Defaming the Military

Myanmar: Poet and PEN Member Facing Imprisonment for Defaming the Military

By | March 13, 2020 at 11:59 am

PEN International is deeply concerned by the ongoing prosecution of poet and PEN member, Saw Wai, who stands accused of defaming the military under Section 505(a) of the Penal Code, after speaking at an event in Kaw Thaung township, in the Tanintharyi region of Southwestern Myanmar. If convicted, he could face up to two years in […]

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