Day of the Imprisoned Writer
The Day of the Imprisoned Writer is an annual, international day intended to recognize and support writers who resist repression of the basic human right to freedom of expression and who stand up to attacks made against their right to impart information. This day is observed each year on November 15. It was started in 1981 by International PEN's Writers in Prison Committee.
In addition to increasing the public's awareness of persecuted writers in general, PEN uses the Day of the Imprisoned Writer to direct attention to several specific persecuted or imprisoned writers and their individual circumstances. Each of the selected writers is from a different part of the world, and each case represents circumstances of repression that occur when governments or other entities in power feel threatened by what writers have written. On this day, the general public is encouraged to take action—in the form of donations and letters of appeal--on behalf of the selected writers.
The day also serves to commemorate all of the writers killed since the previous year's Day of the Imprisoned Writer. Between November 15, 2007 and November 15, 2008, at least 39 writers from around the world were killed in circumstances that appeared to be related to their professions.
Highlighted writers from past observances of the Day of the Imprisoned Writer
- Eynullah Fatullayev; journalist, Azerbaijan
- Melissa Rocío Patiño Hinostroza; student and poet, Peru
- Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand; journalist, Iran
- Tsering Woeser; writer and poet, China
- Writers, Cast and Crew of The Crocodile of Zambezi; Zimbabwe
- Normando Hernanez Gonzalez; journalist, Cuba
- Jamshid Karimov; journalist, Ouzbekistan
- Fatou Jaw Manneh; journalist, Gambia
- Yaghoub Yadali; novelist, Iran
- Zargana Maung Thura; poet and comedian, Burma
- Hrant Dink; newspaper editor, Turkey
- Wesenseged Gebrekidan; journalist, Ethiopia
- Lydia Cacho; writer, Mexico
- Yang Xiaoqing; Internet journalist, China
- Orhan Pamuk; writer, Turkey
- Shi Tao; poet and activist, China
- Dr. Roya Toloui; writer and women’s rights activist, Iran
- Paul Kamara; journalist, Sierra Leone
- Victor Rolando Arroyo; journalist, Cuba