The Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of PEN International has released its case-list for the six-month period July - December 2011, which summarises the cases of all reported attacks against writers and journalists that come to PEN in that period.
Published twice a year, the case-list records writers and journalists working in the print media and electronic who have been imprisoned, detained or persecuted for the peaceful expression of their political opinions. You can find the latest caselist here.
In 2011 the WiPC recorded a total of almost 900 cases in 90 countries including 43 killings and 137 cases of long term imprisonment. They range from the murders of six journalists in Mexico, the incarceration of 24 writers in China, such as the ten year sentence to be served by Chinese writer and activist Chen Wei, to the numerous writers awaiting trial in Turkey, among them publisher Ragip Zarakolu.
Read PEN’s most recent alert of Mexico here.
And find out more about PEN cases Chen Wei and Ragip Zarakolu.
But not all is bad news. 27 long term prisoners were freed last year, among them Vietnamese university teacher and Internet writer Pham Minh Hoang, Burmese comedian and poet Maung Thura (aka ‘Zargana’), and Sudanese newspaper editor Abu Zar Al-Amin.
From the case-list springs our advocacy such as the Rapid Action Alerts. In 2011 PEN issued over 120 on behalf of more than 150 people in 47 countries. Sixty of those mentioned in these alerts were freed, around 40%, an indication that PEN’s advocacy does have an impact. To take part in PEN's Rapid Action network, contact your local Centre and ask to be added to their RAN mailing list or simply follow the alerts on their website, facebook and follow PEN on twitter @pen_int .