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June 15

English PEN: Writers at Risk

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About The Event

Queen Anne Court, Old Royal Naval College
Greenwich, London, SE10 9LS United Kingdom
June 15, 2019
12:30 pm - 1:45 pm
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UK-based writers present new works in tribute to international colleagues, supported by English PEN’s Writers at Risk programme.


English PEN campaigns to defend writers and readers in the UK and around the world whose human right to freedom of expression is at risk. This event is curated by poet and artist SJ Fowler and English PEN’s Cat Lucas. It features UK-based authors speaking on behalf of fellow-writers from around the world whose freedom has been compromised – and who have often had to endure significant danger and hardship.


The event is free to attend but attendees are encouraged to join English PEN: https://www.englishpen.org


Performances of original pieces of prose, poetry, and reportage will include:


Paul Ewen for Behrouz Boochani  
Behrouz Boochani is an Iranian Kurdish refugee who secretly wrote No Friend But The Mountain while being held in a detention centre in Australia. This account of his perilous journey as a refugee and subsequent imprisonment won Australia’s most valuable literary award, the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Literature, in January 2018.
Ellen Wiles for Dina Meza
Dina Meza is a celebrated independent journalist and defender of freedom of expression. She is the director of human rights organisation ASOPODEHU (Asociación por la Democracia y los Derechos Humanos), and founder and current President of PEN Honduras. The nature of her work is such that she and her family have received regular threats of violence, she has occasionally been forced into exile and often needed round the clock protection. She was named as one of Reporters Without Borders’ “100 Heroes and Heroines of Information” in 2014.
Sam Jordison for Narges Mohammadi
In May 2016, the Revolutionary Court Of Iran sentenced Narges Mohammadi to 16 years in jail. Charges included being a member of an organisation called “Step by Step to Stop the Death Penalty” and “committing propaganda against the state.” One of the main focusses of that so-called propaganda campaign was to stop the state killing juvenile offenders. Kids, in other words. She wanted to protect children. In jail she has suffered illness and solitary confinement. She has not been kept away from her own young children.
SJ Fowler for Oleg Sentsov
Oled Senstov is a writer and filmmaker  serving a 20-year prison sentence in Siberia on trumped-up terrorism charges – and the winner of the prestigious European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. When Oleg was awarded the prize, Tom Stoppard said: “As Oleg Sentsov is awarded the Sakharov Prize, we are reminded of his extraordinary strength, selflessness and resolve in the face of adversity. The Russian authorities may want us to forget about him, we never will. We will continue to campaign until he is released”
Sara Upstone for Dawit Isaak 
Dawit Isaakis an Eritrean-Swedish journalist and author who has been detained incommunicado in Eritrea without charge since 23 September 2001.Dawit was the owner of the now defunct weekly newspaper Setit, a playwright and a writer. He is one of nine print journalists who was arrested in 2001 and held without ever being charged or tried. The only accusations made against them have been uncorroborated allegations by the authorities that the journalists were “traitors”.
James Miller for Nedim Turfent
A news editor and reporter at the pro-Kurdish Dicle News Agency (DİHA), Nedim Türfent was arrested on 12 May 2016 after covering clashes between the Turkish army and the armed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the predominantly Kurdish southeast of Turkey. During his imprisonment, he has spent nearly two years in solitary confinement, during which time he was transferred to several prisons and reportedly held in conditions amounting to torture or other ill-treatment.


Age: 16+


This event will be held in QA080, Queen Anne Court, University of Greenwich, Old Royal Naval College. The session is FREE but please make sure you register for a ticket.

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