URGENT CALL TO ACTION: Julian Assange

The UK Home Secretary Priti Patel will make her decision on Julian Assange’s extradition on 18th May. That’s only 5 days away. It’s not too late to help. If extradited, Assange faces a 175-year sentence in a maximum security prison, most likely in solitary confinement. Why? Because he exposed war crimes. He published the truth.Continue reading “URGENT CALL TO ACTION: Julian Assange”

MAY Newsletter – World Press Freedom Day special

‘Only the foolish would argue the fact of pluralism or deny its existence. Only the heinous would try to extinguish it. And only extremely foolish and heinous governments would try to extinguish it through repression and the imprisonment of dissidents, writers, journalists, social critics, and democracy and human rights activists.’ Pham Doan Trang’s final statementContinue reading “MAY Newsletter – World Press Freedom Day special”

April 2022 Newsflash – Julian Assange

Who is Julian Assange? The world’s most famous political prisoner, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, has become an emblem of an international arm wrestle over freedom of journalism, government corruption and unpunished war crimes. Julian Assange is a journalist, publisher and the founder of Wikileaks. Wikileaks is a site created for whistleblowers to safely leak informationContinue reading “April 2022 Newsflash – Julian Assange”

March 2022 newsletter

Contents Opening message featuring Andrey Kurkov Upcoming event(s): Patron’s Lecture featuring Kylie Moore-Gilbert Emergency headline: Ukraine-Russia conflict Australian writers in prison: Yang Hengjun and Julian Assange Oceania focus: Hany Babu (India) and Zaw Lin Htut (Burma) Notable women writers and journalists Opening message COVID starts its third year of chaos. Combat continues in Ukraine andContinue reading “March 2022 newsletter”

Free Hany Babu

‘21 February each year was International Mother Language Day. PEN International joins worldwide observations of International Mother Language Day, which celebrates the importance of linguistic diversity around world’ The idea for such a day originated from Bangladesh, which won its independence from Pakistan in 1971 after a long struggle in which the linguistic rights ofContinue reading “Free Hany Babu”

Professor in Prison: The Curious Case of Hany Babu

On 28 July 2020, human rights defender Hany Babu was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Mumbai. He is now the twelfth accused arrested for his alleged involvement in the violence that broke-out at Bhima Koregan on 1 January 2018.

PEN Sydney and PEN Melbourne Call for PM to Help Julian Assange

PEN Sydney and PEN Melbourne have called for Prime Minister Scott Morrison to stand up for the rights of Australian citizen Julian Assange. Read their full letter here.

Writers in Prison Committee Meeting

On 14 September, representatives from over 60 PEN Centres convened for its annual Writers in Prison Committee (WIPC) meeting. The meeting drew attention to the critical situation in Afghanistan, where the Taliban’s recent takeover means that Afghan writers, activists, and cultural practitioners—especially women—face imminent danger.

Securing Writers’ Rights

As in previous years, PEN International held pre-conference discussions for its main committees, including the Writers for Peace Committee and the Linguistic Rights Committee, which I was able to attend via Zoom, albeit at an unusual hour as the conference ran on London time.