Category Archives: PEN International News

Trump Administration’s Threat to Impose Ideological Test for Immigrants Evokes Dark Chapter in U.S. History, says PEN America

PEN America-logoJanuary 27, 2017

NEW YORK—In response to an executive order to strengthen vetting of immigrants into the United States, signed this afternoon by President Donald J. Trump, PEN America Executive Director Suzanne Nossel released the following statement: Continue reading

Arrest of Journalists Intimidates Press at Crucial Moment for Reporting on Mass Protest

NEW YORK—The arrests of several journalists covering protests in Washington, D.C., on felony riot charges is an alarming encroachment on the right of the press to document public demonstrations, PEN America said in a statement today.

Evan Engel of Vocativ, Alex Rubinstein of RT America, freelance journalist Aaron Cantu, and documentary producer Jack Keller were arrested while covering protests on the day of Donald J. Trump’s inauguration, along with at least two other independent journalists. They appear to have been caught up in mass arrests by police after some protesters committed acts of vandalism. Rubinstein, Engel, and Keller have stated that they identified themselves as press to the police, but were arrested anyway.

Felony riot charges carry a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

“Even a few weeks ago, the prospect of large numbers of journalists in America facing criminal charges, fines, and prison terms for doing their jobs would have seemed far-fetched,” said Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director of PEN America. “By slapping these journalists with felony charges, the U.S. Attorney’s office is intimidating the press at a time when mass protests are expanding and there is a pressing need for accurate reporting in the public interest. It is the obligation of our government officials to enable rather than impair that. The U.S. Attorney should drop these charges immediately.”

###

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

CONTACT
Sarah Edkins, Director of Communications: sedkins@pen.org, +1.646.779.4830

Source: https://pen.org/press-release/journalists-arrested-riot-charges-dc/

PEN International’s Open Letter: Time for China to release writers, journalists and activists

pen2016Today, on World Human Rights Day, our Pen International community of writers, readers, activists and publishers condemn the Chinese authorities’ sustained and increasing attack on free expression and call for an immediate end to China’s worsening crackdown on fundamental human rights. Continue reading

China: PEN renews its calls to release all writers, journalists and publishers

pen-digital-freedom-logo7 December 2016

RAN 24/16

 

 

Ahead of World Human Rights Day, PEN International reiterates its calls on the Chinese authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all writers, journalists, bloggers and publishers held for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of opinion, expression and association. The number of detained and imprisoned writers in China is among the highest in the world. PEN also calls on the authorities to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights without further delay. Continue reading

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 2016

piwwcNovember 25 marks the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This day was chosen to commemorate the brutal murders of three of the Mirabal sisters, revolutionary heroines of the Dominican Republic. On November 25, 1960, Patria, Minerva and María Teresa Mirabal and their driver were stopped on the road by members of the secret police force of the dictator Rafael Trujillo and clubbed to death. Continue reading

Writers on the 2016 US Election: Jennifer Clement

jennifer-clementIn Mexico we feel hurt and shocked to see that so many people in the United States, including Latinos and women, voted for Donald Trump. I am also deeply concerned to see, throughout the world, a growing tendency in politics for propaganda to replace truth.

-Jennifer Clement, President of PEN Internationa Continue reading

PEN International Letter to ICPC President Tienchi Martin-Liao

pi-letter20160618

Blogger and Activist Liu Yanli Charged with Defamation in China

November 4, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

NEW YORK – PEN America is disturbed that after more than a month in detention, blogger Liu Yanli, a member of the Independent Chinese PEN Center, has been formally charged with defamation for a few short social media messages posted to a closed group of online friends.

Continue reading