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Focus Campaigns

Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, known as Mother Mushroom was serving a 10-year prison sentence in Viet Nam for her free expression work

Day of the Imprisoned Writer - Each year on 15 November, PEN highlights the cases of five persecuted writers– be they imprisoned, facing prosecution or otherwise at risk – that are emblematic of the type of threats and attacks faced by writers and journalists around the world. On this day, our Centres and members worldwide stand in solidarity with their colleagues and call on those responsible to end their persecution.


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Make Space Campaign - We’re working to change a context in which displaced writers worldwide do not have the same opportunities to contribute to, participate in, or access global literatures, media-driven narrative, or public discourse. By working to change this context, the creative professionals, writing, and cultures, of displaced communities will have more space to flourish and self-express across professional and social spheres.


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Turkey - PEN International and its Centres around the world have been an effective voice for change in Turkey for decades. Over the years, we’ve documented freedom of expression violations and campaigned on behalf of writers in Turkey. From the 1985 visit of Harold Pinter and Arthur Miller on behalf of PEN to campaign against the torture of writers and others in prison; to continued calls for investigations into the 2007 murder of Turkish-Armenian editor and PEN member Hrant Dink; to campaigning against the prosecution of writers Orhan Pamuk in 2005 and Elif Shafak in 2006; to the 2012 PEN delegation to Turkey calling for reform of laws stifling Turkey’s writers, publishers, translators, and journalists; to the 2016 joint meeting of PEN Turkey and Kurdish PEN for Peace, PEN’s work continues in Turkey today.

Since the declaration of the state of emergency after the attempted coup in July 2016 and the rule by executive decree that has followed, PEN International has been working for a restoration of the rule of law.

PEN is a worldwide organisation. When it expresses an opinion, it counts. I can assure you that I was released thanks to PEN.

Enoh Meyomesse Cameroonian poet, essayist, political activist & PEN Main Case, after being released after three years in prison for his peaceful activism.