The Day of the Imprisoned Writer is an annual, international day intended to recognise and support writers who resist repression of the basic human right to freedom of expression and who stand up to attacks made against their right to impart information.
To mark this years Day of the Imprisoned Writer, PEN Centres around the world will stage events, commemorating friends and colleagues who resist repression of the basic human right to freedom of expression.
This year the focus has been on a number of specific cases from around the world that represent the type of threats and attacks faced by our colleagues
Our focus cases for 2013 have been:
Dina Meza – Human rights defender and journalist. The victim of harassment and threats since 2006 which have not been properly investigated, while national protection mechanisms for journalists are ineffective. PEN International believe that she is targeted for exercising her right to free expression and that her physical security is at risk. For more information click here.
Fazil Say – Writer, composer and musician. His 10-month suspended sentence for “religious defamation” was upheld on 20 September 2013. His conviction relates to a series of tweets and retweets made in April 2012, including a verse attributed to the 12th Century Persian poet Omar Khayyam. For more information click here.
Zahra Rahnavard – Author and Political Activist. She has been held under unofficial house arrest in Tehran since February 2011 for her and her husband’s political activism. For more information click here.
Rodney Sieh – Founder, publisher and editor-in-chief of award-winning daily newspaper FrontPageAfrica. He was jailed after Liberia’s Supreme Court upheld a decision ordering him to pay a former government minister US$1.5 million in libel damages. The judge ordered the newspaper’s closure and Sieh’s detention pending payment on 20 August. Unable to pay the fine, which reportedly amounts to more than 30 times the newspaper’s annual operating budget, Sieh was incarcerated in Monrovia Central Prison the next day. Given the size of the fine, he faces effective life imprisonment. For more information click here.
Kunchok Tsephel Gopey Tsang – Internet writer and editor of the Tibetan language website Chomei (The Lamp). He was convicted of “disclosing state secrets” on 12 November 2009, currently serving a 15-year prison sentence. For more information click here.