The Writers at Risk Committee is PEN’s watchdog. We campaign for imprisoned and persecuted writers all over the world, people who are punished for saying what they think.
You Can Help
Professor Bashabi Fraser organises our Rapid Action Network, sending out alerts and calls for action in support of writers under threat. Contact her at B.Fraser@napier.ac.uk
The Writers at Risk Committee also fights to maintain freedom of expression in our own country. People take it for granted in the affluent West, but our rights are constantly being eroded – by government, through repressive laws and covert surveillance, and by self-censorship in the media, usually for economic reasons.
As well as writing letters to governments and embassies and campaigning for freedom of expression, we take part in events to publicise these issues.
If you would like to help us in our work, please contact Jean Rafferty at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Turkish writer living in exile after writing about atrocities against Armenian and Kurdish people.
Ali Mohammed al-Nimr is a 21 year old man sentenced to death for alleged crimes committed when he was 17. This is against international conventions that Saudi Arabia itself has signed.
Scottish PEN’s own letter protesting about the situation was handed into the Turkish consulate in Edinburgh on Tuesday 15th November. It was signed by many of Scotland’s best known writers and publishers, including Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Alexander McCall Smith.
James Kelman looks at the recent history of the Kurdish people’s oppression by Turkey and complicit European nations.
James Kelman argues that if we are to defend writers in exile, we should look at how people are also censored and marginalised inside the UK.
James Kelman argues that if we are to support Kurdish writers, we should demand proper media coverage and fully engage with their political cause.
A previously unpublished essay by James Kelman on the relationship between artists, the working class, and fighting injustice.