UTS Professor Chongyi Feng detained in China, stopped from boarding return flight to Australia

Chongyi FengA Sydney professor and critic of growing Chinese government influence in Australia has been prevented from boarding a flight to return home to Sydney, and the ABC understands he has been told he is not allowed to leave China. Continue reading

Tienchi Martin-Liao: The 228 Incident is the Legacy of the Taiwanese People

The February 28 Incident, or “228,” was an anti-government uprising in Taiwan against the Kuomintang (KMT) that resulted in a number of deaths, estimated anywhere from 10,000-50,000. Taiwan’s process of historical reflection and apology for the 1947 incident highlights tension between the ways in which both China and Taiwan deal with their individual and shared histories. Continue reading

Canada, 10 other countries call out China for torturing human rights lawyers

BEIJING — The Globe and Mail,Published Last updated

Eleven countries have jointly called on the Chinese government to investigate reports of torture against human rights lawyers and urged Beijing to abandon a controversial detention system that holds suspects in secret locations for months at a time. Continue reading

World Poetry Day 2017

21 March 2017

‘Poetry – with its ancient history, its musicality, and its attention to symbol and metaphor – runs through all of us. Rooted in oral tradition, poetry is deeply connected to our collective humanity. And poetry is also a resilient and long-lasting political tool that has been used worldwide by dissident voices calling out for change. At PEN it’s impossible for us to celebrate World Poetry Day without also recognising that there are those for whom speaking out in verse has resulted in imprisonment. This year we are highlighting the cases of three such poets: Amanuel Asrat, Dareen Tatour, and Liu Xia. We urge you to take action today and to join us in appealing for justice for each of them. Details of how to speak out can be found below. Continue reading

World Poetry Day 2017 – Take Action for Liu Xia

Liu Xia, China, is a poet, artist, and founding member of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre. She has been held in her Beijing apartment without access to phones, Internet, doctors of her choice, or visitors since her husband, imprisoned poet Liu Xiaobo, was named the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in October 2010. Continue reading

In memoriam: Predrag Matvejević

20 March 2017

Predrag Matvejević died in Zagreb on February 2, 2017. He was one of the most important and most translated writers of the Balkans. A cosmopolitan, a polyglot and a tireless activist, he worked endlessly for human rights, for peace and for dialogue among people. Continue reading

Detained Chinese Feminist Wins New Human Rights Honor

Detained activist Su Changlan, who has been in pre-trial detention for more than two years, on Tuesday received a prestigious human rights award from a coalition of Chinese human rights groups. Continue reading

Nobel laureate, playwright, and poet Derek Walcott dies today aged 87

17 March 2017

It is with great sadness that PEN International received the news of Nobel laureate, playwright, & poet Derek Walcott’s death earlier today. Statements from PEN President Jennifer Clement and Executive Director Carles Torner are below. Continue reading