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Online PEN International Writers in Prison Committee’s Annual Meeting | 11-12 April 2022

Freedom Under Fire

Platforms:

Zoom (registration required)

Public Panel #1 and #2 will be streamed on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/penin... (further details are below)

Language: English

Time zone: GMT+1 (London time)


DAY 1

Monday, 11 April 2022

12:45

Opening the meeting (practice room and free chat)

12:55

Housekeeping note

13:00

Empty Chair #1 Sasha Kuvshinova (Ukraine) by Aurelia Dondo

13:05

WiPC Chair report + Q&A (20 min)

13:30

Keynote speech by Ostap Slyvynsky (Vice-President of PEN Ukraine) + Q&A

14:00

Strategic planning session

14:50

COMFORT BREAK

15:00-17:00

Centre’s updates (based on regional approach) – 3 mins per centre

*Also requested in written form


DAY 2

Tuesday, 12 April 2022

12:45

Opening the meeting (practice room and free chat)

12:55

Housekeeping note

13:00

Empty Chair #2 Fredy Lopez Arévalo (Mexico) by Alicia Quinones

13:05

Session on Resolutions (presentation of year strategy and Q&A)

13:35

COMFORT BREAK

13:45

PUBLIC PANEL #1 FREEDOM UNDER FIRE: AFGHANISTAN, UGANDA, IRAN, and RUSSIA

(find the links to the PUBLIC PANELS below)

14:40

COMFORT BREAK

14:45

PUBLIC PANEL #2: WRITERS ON THE FRONTLINE: BELARUS, MYANMAR, and CUBA

(find the links to the PUBLIC PANELS below)

16:45-17:00

Closing note


PUBLIC PANEL #1: FREEDOM UNDER FIRE: AFGHANISTAN, UGANDA, IRAN, and RUSSIA Down arrow

Panel1.png#asset:11001

FREEDOM UNDER FIRE: AFGHANISTAN, UGANDA, IRAN, and RUSSIA

Freedom of expression is under fire, globally, with writers across regions on the frontline defending their rights to freedom of expression and opinion. Recent updates from Afghanistan show how much freedom of expression and artistic freedom had been affected by the Taliban regime since the take-over of the country. In Russia and Uganda, public space is shrinking via new rules and restrictions, especially on social media. Similarly in Iran, both legislative and judiciary repressions of freedom of expression have been going on for years, only worsening by the day. It is clear that freedom of expression in those and many other countries is being threatened by both state and non-state actors. We will explore how and why our Freedom is under Fire from our writer colleagues.

Empty Chair #3 Narges Mohammadi (Iran) by Mina Thabet

Afghanistan: Samay Hamed, President PEN Afghanistan

Iran: Mansour Razaghi, PEN Sydney

Uganda: Stella Nyanzi, human rights advocate, and poet

Russia: Mikhail Shishkin, Russian oppositional writer 

Moderator: Ross Holder, Asia Regional Programme Coordinator

PUBLIC PANEL #2: WRITERS ON THE FRONTLINE: BELARUS, MYANMAR, and CUBA Down arrow

Panel2.png#asset:11006


WRITERS ON THE FRONTLINE: BELARUS, MYANMAR, and CUBA

Repression of freedom of expression under authoritarian regimes means not only creating a situation where our freedom of speech, opinion, and imagination is under fire, but also an environment where writers who peacefully challenge the status quo, through the use of the word, are continuously at risk of being harassed, intimidated, arrested, killed or forced to go into exile. These are the writers on the frontline, whose opinions, speeches, words and works inspire youths and the general public to defend the human right to freedom of expression. These are the writers who stand by ordinary citizens when they decide to resist an unfair regime. These are the writers who keep speaking up against injustices despite the risks their face, defending and upholding the right to freedom of expression. Our writer members from Belarus, Myanmar and Cuba will tell us more about why writers are on the frontline in this era of freedom under fire.

Empty Chair #4 Maung Thar Cho (Myanmar) 

Belarus: Taciana Niadbaj, Executive Director/President PEN Belarus

Myanmar: Nay Phone Latt, ex-Secretary PEN Myanmar

Cuba: Katherine Bisquet, Cuban writer and PEN Case

Moderator: Karin D. Karlekar, PEN America