PEN on Twitter

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Democracy is humanity’s common destiny. There is no avoiding it whether you are an Eskimo or a Zulu; a Christian or a Muslim; white or black; developed or developing. It is truly universal. And after a long journey, Ethiopia’s encounter with destiny is right around the corner. We are almost there.

Eskinder Nega, journalist, dissident blogger, and 2012 PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award recipient, imprisoned since September 14, 2011

SOS: Dissent and terrorism in Ethiopia

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Eskinder Nega’s Verdict Postponed 
PEN President Peter Godwin:“We are disappointed Eskinder Nega’s ordeal didn’t come to an end today with the acquittal he deserves. The trial proceedings only reinforced the baselessness of the charges against him, and the court’s explanation for the delay in issuing a verdict—that it needs another six weeks to transcribe the record—does little to inspire confidence in the court’s workings. “We ask the world to join with us in pressing the Meles government to bring the unjust persecution of Eskinder Nega and his fellow journalists in Ethiopia to an end.” 
(via PEN American Center - May 11, 2012: Eskinder Nega’s Verdict Postponed)

Eskinder Nega’s Verdict Postponed 

PEN President Peter Godwin:
“We are disappointed Eskinder Nega’s ordeal didn’t come to an end today with the acquittal he deserves. The trial proceedings only reinforced the baselessness of the charges against him, and the court’s explanation for the delay in issuing a verdict—that it needs another six weeks to transcribe the record—does little to inspire confidence in the court’s workings. 


“We ask the world to join with us in pressing the Meles government to bring the unjust persecution of Eskinder Nega and his fellow journalists in Ethiopia to an end.” 

(via PEN American Center - May 11, 2012: Eskinder Nega’s Verdict Postponed)

Charlayne Hunter-Gault’s moving piece in The Root on the travails of married journalists Serkalem Fasil and Eskinder Nega. Nega, who is in prison, won the 2012 PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award. His wife Serkalem Fasil accepted the award on his behalf. Charlayne Hunter-Gault, a journalist and correspondent, was the master of ceremonies at the PEN Gala in New York.
(via Eskinder Nega and Serkalem Fasil: Fighting for Freedom of Speech in Ethiopia)

Charlayne Hunter-Gault’s moving piece in The Root on the travails of married journalists Serkalem Fasil and Eskinder Nega. Nega, who is in prison, won the 2012 PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award. His wife Serkalem Fasil accepted the award on his behalf. Charlayne Hunter-Gault, a journalist and correspondent, was the master of ceremonies at the PEN Gala in New York.

(via Eskinder Nega and Serkalem Fasil: Fighting for Freedom of Speech in Ethiopia)

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“The PEN America Center’s organizational focus is the effect of world events on the safety and freedom of expression of writers, so the topic of war naturally looms large in its cultural consciousness. As part of the recent PEN World Voices Festival, Polish journalist and author Wojciech Jagielski was interviewed by Joel Whitney, a founding editor of Guernica: A Magazine of Art & Politics.”

(via A Reporter’s Perspective on War at PEN World Voices - WNYC Culture)

The PEN America Center’s organizational focus is the effect of world events on the safety and freedom of expression of writers, so the topic of war naturally looms large in its cultural consciousness. As part of the recent PEN World Voices Festival, Polish journalist and author Wojciech Jagielski was interviewed by Joel Whitney, a founding editor of Guernica: A Magazine of Art & Politics.”

(via A Reporter’s Perspective on War at PEN World Voices - WNYC Culture)

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fictionthatmatters:


Which country in the world currently imprisons more journalists than any other? The People’s Republic of China? Nope. Iran? Wrong again. The rather depressing answer is the Republic of Turkey, where nearly 100 journalists are behind bars, according to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Yes, that’s right: modern, secular, western-oriented Turkey, with its democratically elected government, has locked away more members of the press than China and Iran combined.

(via In Turkey the right to free speech is being lost | Mehdi Hasan | Comment is free | The Guardian)

fictionthatmatters:

Which country in the world currently imprisons more journalists than any other? The People’s Republic of China? Nope. Iran? Wrong again. The rather depressing answer is the Republic of Turkey, where nearly 100 journalists are behind bars, according to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Yes, that’s right: modern, secular, western-oriented Turkey, with its democratically elected government, has locked away more members of the press than China and Iran combined.

(via In Turkey the right to free speech is being lost | Mehdi Hasan | Comment is free | The Guardian)

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Russian investigator Aleksandr I. Bastrykin apologizes for allegedly threatening to kill Sergei Sokolov, deputy editor of Novaya Gazeta. His apology included sending Sokolov a wristwatch. Three reporters from Novaya Gazeta have been killed in the past decade. Meanwhile, Sokolov had fled into exile. We will be posting Russian PEN’s response to the apology soon.
(via Russia’s Chief Federal Investigator Apologizes for Threatening Journalist - NYTimes.com)

Russian investigator Aleksandr I. Bastrykin apologizes for allegedly threatening to kill Sergei Sokolov, deputy editor of Novaya Gazeta. His apology included sending Sokolov a wristwatch. Three reporters from Novaya Gazeta have been killed in the past decade. Meanwhile, Sokolov had fled into exile. We will be posting Russian PEN’s response to the apology soon.

(via Russia’s Chief Federal Investigator Apologizes for Threatening Journalist - NYTimes.com)

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We believe that a mere apology in this case is clearly not enough. It does not settle the issue. The incident goes far beyond relations between top officials and a single editorial staff person. This ugly act committed by your colleague is your challenge for the whole journalistic community, and furthermore, civil society, the development of which you have repeatedly highlighted. The closure of the “hunting season” against a Novaya Gazeta journalist does not guarantee that history of this kind will not be repeated in the future. Impunity for Mr. Bastrykin serves as a signal to the regional authorities, and therefore does not have much impact on what is going on with journalists working for the local media.

Russian PEN, on why an apology from Alexander Bastrykin, who allegedly threatened to kill journalist Sergey Sokolov, is not sufficient. The letter to President Putin calls for Bastrykin to be prosecuted. 

Click here to read the full letter.

It is encouraging to see that Mexican President Felipe Calderón has signed a new law to protect journalists. It’s the second major step the Mexican government has taken in recent weeks to address the appalling violence against journalists in Mexico, and it is part of a package of reforms that PEN pressed in meetings with government officials in Mexico City in January.

Click here to read more

Photo by archer10 on a Creative Commons License

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FJ: Mr. Rajapaksa are you threatening me?
GR: Yes! I am threatening you! Write every single word I have told you if you want – you write a bloody f…..g word and we will see…

Sri Lankan Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, after being questioned by a journalist whether he knew that SriLankan airlines had chosen a smaller plane so that a pilot, currently dating his niece, could fly a flight to Europe. The new plane would allegedly be carrying a puppy for Mr. Rajapaksa to present to his wife.

via @cpj

(Source: thesundayleader.lk)