PEN International © 2017
Terms & Conditions | Privacy Statement

Writers for Peace Committee Statement, Bled 2016

Thursday 5 January 2017 - 3:49pm

In light of PEN International’s  resolutions on the situation in Turkey and the Middle East crisis and  on the Global Response to the Refugee crisis; following an appeal made at a meeting of Turkish and Kurdish writers in Diyarbakir, Turkey in April 2016;  and mindful of the recommendations of PEN International ‘s Seminar on Cultural Diversity, Diyarbakir, March 2005, the Writers for Peace Committee of PEN International, issued the following statement at the conclusion of the 48th International Writers’ Meeting in Bled, Slovenia, on 14 May 2016.

In the shadow of the Syrian conflict and the refugee crisis in Europe, hidden from the eyes of the world’s media, the Kurdish people have been subjected to gross violations of the right to life, liberty and security.  The curfews, destruction of cultural heritage sites, the assassinations and proxy murders are a disgrace and a mark of shame on the Turkish state and its European partners.

PEN International joins with over 1400 Academics for Peace in their petition (Istanbul, January 2016) which demands the lifting of curfews, the cessation of deportations and murders and an end to violations of national and international law.

The systematic intimidation, arrest, incarceration and exile of journalists and academics making a stand for peace and freedom of expression are unacceptable.

PEN International calls upon all parties to immediately end the cycle of violence and strongly urge the Government of Turkey to prepare the conditions for negotiations and create a road map to a lasting peace in the region.

PEN International calls upon the International Community, the European Union, the Council of Europe and international investors to assist Turkey in choosing the path to a peaceful and secure future, in conformity with its obligations under international law.

PEN International also demands that the nations of Europe create common, humane laws of asylum that are not driven by national interests, but instead by a spirit of solidarity and a sense of responsibility. Refugees should no longer have to risk their lives to come to Europe. If they do seek asylum, they should not be treated like criminals. Asylum seekers should be given the same basic standards of humane treatment in all EU member states and they must have the same access to a fair asylum process.  Lives of refugees cannot be sacrificed in the name of protecting borders. The European Union must be recognised as a common protective area for refugees.

Jennifer Clement                                            Marjan Strojan

President                                                            Chair

PEN International                                          Writers for Peace Committee