Joint Statement to the Syrian government calling for the immediate and unconditional release of human rights defenders in keeping with UN Resolution

Human rights organisations call on Syrian government to implement the UN Resolution The Syrian government should immediately release human rights defenders, Mazen Darwish, Hussein Ghareer and Hani Al-Zitani, members of the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM), and drop all the charges against them. Another hearing of their trial held on 18 November, 2013 at the Anti-Terrorism Court in Damascus on alleged terrorism charges brought against them by the Syrian Government’s Air Force Intelligence.


Interview with Kiran Desai on the newly launched PEN Delhi Centre and threats to freedom of expression in India

Booker-prize winner, Kiran Desai, spoke on behalf of the PEN Delhi Centre which was launched at PEN’s 79th Congress in Iceland in September. In a brief interview between readings, Kiran spoke with PEN International’s Sarah Clarke about threats to freedom of expression in India and the role of PEN.

The New Delhi PEN Centre has just been created. What role do you see for PEN in Delhi?


Family Study

By Pavol Janik


Always when I think of you

dawn breaks above Buenos Aires

and the Atlantic has the inexplicable color of your eyes.


Exotic birds

nest on out TV aerial

until the announcer

has a pearly hairdo

and complete blonde smile.

She claims that eternity has already lasted a whole year.

The weather forecast

announces in her place

a rainbow parrot.


For our wedding route

it wishes us little cloudiness


Nigerian writers face climate of intimidation, censorship and repression

Nigerian writers and journalists are facing relentless attempts by state and non-state actors to suppress political criticism and to censor film and music productions, said PEN International as Nigeria’s human rights record comes under scrutiny at the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review in Geneva. In May 2011 Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan signed the Freedom of Information Act, which at the time was hailed as a significant move towards a climate of openness in the country.


Interview with Myanmar PEN’s Nay Phone Latt

PEN International was in attendance at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Indonesia last week to push for freedom of expression online and to draw attention to the growth in digital repression against writers. PEN International’s Sarah Clarke caught up with Myanmar PEN’s Nay Phone Latt, who was representing Freedom House, to talk about the impact of the political changes in Myanmar on writers, the new PEN Centre and the role of the Internet in the country. How have the recent political changes in Myanmar impacted on the lives of writers in the country?


Notice of Action

Dear colleagues,

This year, 15 November 2013, will be the 32nd PEN International Day of the Imprisoned Writer. On this day, Centres around the world will celebrate the courage of their colleagues who are struggling for their right to freedom of expression.


PEN Nicaragua statement on the harassment and surveillance of journalist Ismael López Ocampo and his family by army

PEN Nicaragua have made a statement denouncing the harassment and surveillance of Ismael López Ocampo, journalist for the newspaper Confidencial and for the weekly TV news programme Esta Semana, and his family by high-ranking plainclothes officials from the Nicaraguan army’s Defence Information Directorate (Dirección de Informacíon para la Defensa – DID) between August and October 2013. The director of Confidential and Esta Semana, Carlos F. Chamorro has also written a letter of protest to the army chief General Julio César Avilés, which was published in the Nicaraguan media on 28 October.