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Sydney PEN’s Writers in Prison works with International PEN to select the urgent regional cases that feature in our public advocacy campaigns. We prepare letters to relevant individuals which can be printed, signed and posted by anyone who cares about freedom to read and write.

Often these campaigns have led to the appointment of individual writers as Honorary Members of our centre. We also prepare Writers in Prison profiles of these writers, for The Empty Chair installation and announcement at public events.

In the past year, our campaign cases have been focused on the regions of Burma (Myanmar), China, Tibet Autonomous Region and Vietnam.

Profiled here are the campaigns we have recently launched and continue to monitor. The writers in our campaign cases are featured in The Empty Chair installed at the City Campus Library and Tower Building of the University of Technology, Sydney.

Raif Badawi

Raef Badawi was arrested on 17 June 2012 in Jeddah after organising a conference to mark a “day of liberalism”. The conference, which was to … Continued

Charlie Hebdo

PEN Sydney condemns the appalling murder of 12 people at the offices of satirical journal Charlie Hebdo yesterday in France. This savage attempt to intimidate … Continued

Liu Xiaobo

Writer, academic and Honorary President of Independent Chinese PEN Centre, Liu Xiaobo, has been in prison since 2009. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in … Continued

Tashi Rabten

International PEN is seriously concerned for the welfare of Tibetan writer and editor Tashi Rabten who was reportedly given a four-year prison sentence in July … Continued

Liu Xia

Chinese poet and prominent contemporary artist, Liu Xia, has been under house arrest in Beijing since 2010. Poet and painter Liu Xia has been under … Continued

Nurmuhemmet Yasin

The young Uyghur writer and poet may have been tortured to death in prison, after being convicted for writing the short story “Wild Pigeon”. According … Continued

International Women's Day - 8 March 2012

Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world in which to be a writer. Take action for murdered and disappeared women writers … Continued

Father Nguyen Van Ly

Editor and Catholic priest Father Nguyen Van Ly (pronounced –noiyen ven lee) was re-arrested by Vietnamese police on 25 July 2011, allegedly for distributing anti-government … Continued

Liu Xianbin

On March 25 2011, veteran Chinese dissident Liu Xianbin was given a ten-year sentence for “inciting subversion of state power” for allegedly publishing eight articles … Continued

Gheyret Niyaz

Uyghur journalist and editor sentenced to fifteen years In October 2009, Uyghur journalist Gheyret Niyaz was arrested and convicted on state security charges for his … Continued

Tan Zuoren - China

In February 2010 Chinese writer Tan Zuoren was sentenced to 5 years’ imprisonment for “inciting subversion of state power”. The charges were ostensibly laid for … Continued