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PEN International and the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN) enters a new phase in its collaboration

miércoles 27 abril 2022 - 1:00pm

PEN International and the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN) announce the end of their formal third party evaluation contract and the beginning of a new phase in its long-term collaboration. The ICORN Secretariat has worked closely with PEN International, which have evaluated the authenticity of authorship and artistic production as well as declared danger.

PEN is proud to have collaborated with ICORN to create opportunities not only for writers, but also poets, playwrights, bloggers, artists, editors, and journalists, to move freely – intellectually, culturally, physically. Together, we have created a community of writers, readers and thinkers who support each other and believe in the right to peaceful and free expression. This is an exceptional legacy which will last for decades to come, and which sets the basis for our future cooperation’ said Burhan Sonmez, President of PEN International.

Many writers and artists face persecution and are often forced to flee their countries or seek respite through long-term residencies in other countries, simply for expressing themselves freely Since 2010, PEN has supported ICORN to successfully offer sanctuary to 250 writers at risk, from Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the MENA region.

ICORN and PEN International have worked successfully together for over a decade to support persecuted writers and artists. The work that both organisations undertake has never been more necessary and relevant. While we are changing the basis of our collaboration from this year, we will continue to partner with PEN International in a range of ways to serve, support and protect the artists and writers whose unwavering commitment to freedom of expression drives both our missions said Chris Gribble, ICORN Chair of Board.

PEN International is recognised as the world’s foremost association of writers and the first dedicated to the defence and promotion of free expression. With a global network of more than 40,000 writers in 140 federated Centres in more than100 countries, PEN campaigns, defends and provides essential support to those persecuted for their writing. The organization seeks to address critical security threats and protect writers at risk, defend literature and free speech as powerful catalysts for democratic societal change.

ICORN specializes on offering protective, long-term residencies to persecuted writers, journalists and artists through a network of 75 + member cities in Europe and beyond. Each residency improves the conditions for freedom of expression both for the individual writer and artist, their home constituencies and the hosting community. ICORN and its members defend democratic values and promote international solidarity through concrete action.

PEN International and ICORN exchange mutual gratitude for the successful partnership since 2010 and look forward to extensive future collaborations.

Note to editors:

PEN International: For further information, please contact Sabrina Tucci, Communications and Campaigns Manager, t. +44 (0)20 7405 0338 |Twitter: @pen_int | Facebook: |

ICORN: For further information, please contact Helge Lunde, Executive Director;, +47 99582488;