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83rd PEN International Congress: Lviv

Lviv 2017 Poetry Evning Credits Natalia Shynkarenko

The 83rd PEN International Congress in Lviv


Reclaiming Truths in Times of Propaganda

168 delegates (including 5 invited delegates)

68 PEN centres (including 3 new )

60 countries

50 % women

50 % men

4 working languages – English, French, Spanish and Ukrainian

The most extensive programme of public events in PEN Congress history: 28 public events.

Public discussions

Themes and issues discussed at the 83rd  PEN International Congress in Lviv included: history and memory, rights of women and equality, cyber provocations, truth and fake news, and threats to freedom of speech across the world. Public discussions focused on three super powers: American Account – Threats to the Freedom of Speech in Donald Trump's America, Chinese Shame – How a Poet Reveled the Spirit of the Party, Putin's Power Games – Decline of the Freedom of Speech in Russia as well as other events of the Congress.

PEN report on Ukraine

In the time of war, the truth falls among the first victims according to PEN report "Freedom of Speech in Post-Maidan Ukraine: External Aggression, Internal Challenges". The report and Congress were focused on the aggressive role of propaganda in conflict. In Ukraine, Russia and all over the world we are seeing rapid rise of fake narratives.

Congress resolutions

Resolutions adopted by Delegates of Assembly of PEN International mentioned writers jailed in Turkey, China, Vietnam, Kazakhstan and Erythraea and those killed in Mexico, Russia, Venezuela, Bangladesh and India. Concerns were raised regarding increased censorship in Hungary, Poland, India, Turkey and Spain as well as limitations of linguistic rights of Kurdish writers in Turkey, Hungarian in Ukraine and Uyghur in China.

When expressing concerns as to abuse of Interpol Red Notice to suppress the freedom of speech or persecution of political adversaries abroad, PEN urged the Council of Europe "to refrain from arrests...if there are serious signs of abuse in the notice."

Article 3 of the Charter

PEN expanded Article 3 of the Charter for the first time since it was adopted 90 years ago. The Assembly voted for a wider formulation, namely counteracting hate and not only based on race, class or nationality but also gender, religion and other categories of identity. Article 3 of the Charter reads as follows: "PEN members should at all times use their impact for mutual understanding and respect between nations; they commit to do everything to dispel all types of hate and support the ideal of unified humanity living in peace."

Female Manifesto

PEN also voted for Female Manifesto which says: "use of culture, religion or tradition as a way to silence women as well as violence against women as a form of censorship must be singled out and condemned."

To see full version of the post-release go to Congress official Facebook page: