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Defending Writers page blocks

Defending Writers

PEN's bedrock work is long-term advocacy on behalf of individual writers who are being persecuted because of their work. This page features several of our highest priority cases. With the help of our members and supporters, we are carrying out campaigns to win their release and ensure they are safe and can write and publish freely.

Take a moment to share information about these writers and take action on their behalf.

This is only a small sampling of writers under threat around the world. Click here for the most recent PEN International case list.

China
Status: Detained

Ilham Tohti, 44, is an ethnically Uyghur economist, writer, and public... more »

China
Status: House Arrest

Liu Xia is poet and artist, and was a founding member of the Independent... more »

Qatar
Status: In Prison

Born on December 24, 1975, Mohammed al-Ajami, a Qatari citizen, is a poet... more »

Turkey
Status: On Trial

Ayşe Berktay, a translator, cultural and women's rights activist, is... more »

Cameroon
Status: In Prison

Enoh Meyomesse, 57, is a writer, blogger, historian and political activist... more »

Ethiopia
Status: In Prison

Eskinder Nega, a journalist and dissident blogger based in Addis Ababa who... more »

Iran
Status: Released

Lawyer and journalist Nasrin Sotoudeh is serving a six-year sentence in... more »

China
Status: In Prison

Liu Xiaobo, a renowned literary critic, writer, political activist, and... more »

China
Status: In Prison

A writer and member of the Independent Chinese PEN Center, Yang Tongyan is... more »

Vietnam
Status: In Prison

Nguyen Xuan Nghia, a poet, journalist, essayist, and novelist, is serving a... more »

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