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”
‘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”
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 have called for Prime Minister Scott Morrison to stand up for the rights of Australian citizen Julian Assange. Read their full letter here.
At our recent Human Rights Day event, PEN Perth Member Frances An read a touching letter to journalist Đoan Trang Phạm. PEN Perth is proud to publish the letter here, written and translated by Frances An.
On Tuesday 23 November PEN Perth held a reading to protest the military coup which took place on 25 October in Sudan. Read the summary and two featured poems here.
Maria Ressa shares this year’s Nobel Peace Prize with fellow journalist, Dimitri Muratov from Russia. Ressa, notably, is the first Filipino Nobel Laureate.
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.
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.
The Centenary World Congress of PEN was held via Zoom from 20-24 September, with the four Committee meetings held in the previous week. The Congress held some fascinating panel discussions on issues related to freedom of expression with participants such as Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie, as well as talks by John Ralston Saul, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Ma Thida and others.
The third Annual General Meeting of PEN Perth was held on 26 August at the Centre for Stories. A new committee was elected, with Rania Ghandour and Rita Saggar joining and Robert Wood standing down.
My Chair’s report for the year 2020-2021 is a little different. That is for two reasons, the first being organisational as it is the 100 year celebration of our international community, and the second being personal, because it is my final report as Chair.