A Week in Focus: The Day of the Imprisoned Writer

Each year, on November 15, PEN International holds its Day of the Imprisoned Writer to “recognise and support writers who resist repression of the basic human right to freedom of expression and who stand up to attacks made against their right to impart information.” The Guardian has reported that over the last year, over 900 writers were harassed, murdered, ‘disappeared’ or imprisoned in an effort to censor their voice. Therefore, beginning today, the 33rd Day of the Imprisoned Writer, York PEN is going to run a week-long series of articles which intend to raise awareness for imprisoned writers, and expose the draconian laws that still exist across the world which dramatically curtail people’s right to freedom of expression.

Each year, PEN International chooses five imprisoned writers, one from each region in which PEN operates, in order to exemplify the repressive regimes that people live under. This year, the writers in focus are China’s Gao Yu, Cameroon’s Dieudonné Enoh Meyomesse, Iran’s Mahvash Sabet, Kyrgyzstan’s Azimjon Askrov and Paraguay’s Nelson Aguilera. For the next week, a new article will be published detailing one of these writer’s tragic stories of censorship, in an effort to support these individuals, and the thousands more like them.

Check back each day to see how this series unfolds.

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