Day of the Imprisoned Writer 2022

November 2022: For Day of the Imprisoned Writer 2022, Scottish PEN devoted its work to updating our campaign list. We encourage our members and all readers and writers to educate themselves about the cases described below, and join PEN International and Scottish PEN and our colleagues in the PEN centres across the United Kingdom and […]

November 17, 2022

November 2022: For Day of the Imprisoned Writer 2022, Scottish PEN devoted its work to updating our campaign list. We encourage our members and all readers and writers to educate themselves about the cases described below, and join PEN International and Scottish PEN and our colleagues in the PEN centres across the United Kingdom and Ireland in taking action to support the writers on the list – again, as set forth below.

As well as the writers nominated by PEN International, Scottish PEN intends to focus much of its campaigning during the coming year on the cases of Julian Assange, Alaa Abd El-Fattah and Narges Mohammadi

In some cases, PEN International has identified particular dates to take action. If you can offer your support on those days, so much the better, but any action you can take is great! 

We are pleased to note that Raif Badawi, a previous focus of our campaigning efforts, has been released from Saudi Arabia. However, he remains subject to a ten-year travel band. We are currently working to establish what help can most usefully offer in this relation.

José Rubén Zamora Marroquín (Guatemala), Narges Mohammadi (Iran), Server Mustafayev (Ukraine), and Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe) are the faces and voices of the Day of the Imprisoned Writer 2022, PEN International’s annual campaign on behalf of writers who are imprisoned or facing persecution. These four cases are emblematic of the type of threats and attacks writers and journalists around the world are often subjected to, for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression.

Orhan Pamuk once said: “When another writer in another house is not free, no writer is free’’. This is why since 1981, with the Day of the Imprisoned Writer, we have been advocating on behalf of writers who are fierce defenders of free speech and for this, pay the ultimate price. Today, we promote campaigns and spur action for 4 incredible minds whose work has changed the life of many across the world. Let’s set them free. – Ma Thida, Chair of PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee.

The entire PEN movement calls for urgent international action to release and protect José Rubén Zamora Marroquín, Narges Mohammadi, Server Mustafayev, and Tsitsi Dangarembga and ensure that they and their families feel solidarity and support.

PEN Centres, members and supporters worldwide will advocate for these writers, with activities ranging from letters to governments and social media storms, to demonstrations, press conferences and panel discussions. Acclaimed writers will send solidarity letters to their colleagues in prison or under threat.

Please take action with PEN International on the following days:

Visit PEN International to read and share this year’s solidarity letters in support of our imprisoned writers.

Visit PEN International handles on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for retweets, likes, comments and sharing our posts for wider outreach.

Take action today.

Read our biographies and extracts for the following imprisoned writers:

Julian Assange

Alaa Abd El-Fattah

Narges Mohammadi