PEN Belgium/Flanders stands in solidarity with Ahmet Altan

Last December PEN Belgium/Flanders held a marathon reading of imprisoned author Ahmet Altan's novel Ik zal de wereld nooit meer zien (I will never see the world again).

30 well-known Flemish writers stood in solidarity with Altan, reading the novel in its entirety. Altan remains in Silviri prison, where he is serving a 10-and-a-half year prison sentence. PEN Belgium/Flanders made Altan an honorary member of its Centre in 2018.

Highlights of the reading are available here:


Ahmet Altan is serving a 10-and-a-half year prison sentence on trumped up charges of ‘knowingly and willingly assisting a terrorist organisation’. First arrested in September 2016, Ahmet Altan spent over three years in pre-trial detention, in what amounts to judicial harassment. Sentenced on 4 November 2019 following proceedings marred by violations of his right to a fair trial, he was released pending appeal only to be sent back to jail eight days later. He is currently being held in Silivri prison, outside Istanbul. A date for his appeal hearing has yet to be set. PEN International believes that Ahmet Altan is being imprisoned solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.