The Day of the Imprisoned Writer is an International day which is celebrated on 15 November annually due to intended to identify and support writers who resist under pressure of the fundamental human right to liberty of expression and those who stand up to attacks made against their rights to transmit information. The Day of the Imprisoned Writers started in 1981 by PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee.

The Addressing of Salil Tripathi on Day of the Imprisoned Writer

Salil Tripathi, who is the chair of PEN International Writer in Prison Committee said:

“Writers should be writing when they want to write. They should not be in jail. And around the world-wide hundreds of Writers are in jail today, and others many more faced intimidation and oppression because they express expressed upsets the authorities to offend the powerful and unsettled governments. Writers are the conscience-keepers of the society, and they must remain free their place is not in jail, but with pen or paper, with typewriters and with their keyboards. And every year on this day, the entire PEN committee says in one voice that anywhere in the world we will continue to fight for freedom against cruelty for writers, who are prevented from his or her work.”

More about the Day of the Imprisoned Writer

The day of the Imprisoned Writer is marked by celebrating the liberty to write and by taking call actions for equity and freedom for imprisoned and murdered colleagues. This day also works for remembering all the writers who killed since the previous year’s Day of the Imprisoned Writer. At least 39 writers in between 15 November 2007 and 15 November 2008 were killed through the worldwide in circumstances that are related to their professions.

For increasing the public’s awareness of persecuted writers, PEN the International writers in prison committee uses the day of Imprisoned Writer to direct attention to several problems or imprisoned writers and many other individual circumstances. Each of the writers is from the different part of the world, and each case represents the repression circumstances that occur when governments or other powerful entities have threatened on what writers have written.  On this day, the general public has to take actions in the form of donations and appealing letters on behalf of the writers.

Some Writers from past Observance

Day of the Imprisoned Writer

  • Dina Meza; human rights defender and journalist, Honduras
  • Fazıl Say; writer, composer, and musician, Turkey
  • Abduljalil al-Singace; blogger and human rights defender, Bahrain
  • Nedim Sener and Ahmet Şık; writers in prison, Turkey
  • Robert Mintya; newspaper editor, Cameroon
  • Tal Al-Mallouhi; blogger and poet, Syria
  • Tsering Woeser; writer and poet, China
  • Lydia Cacho; writer, Mexico
  • Yaghoub Yadali; novelist, Iran
  • Paul Kamara; journalist, Sierra Leone
  • Regina Martínez; journalist, Mexico
  • Eynullah Fatullayev; journalist, Azerbaijan
  • Hrant Dink; newspaper editor, Turkey
  • Rakhim Esenov; writer, Turkmenistan

On this year we stand together with the PEN International writer in prison committee for freedom and solidarity. Like you, I and many other people and writers believe that the literature can inspire us the most, it can generate tolerance, and it can increase human sympathy. You are also in prison. You are not alone, and you have the entire PEN Community of writer from world-wide which are fighting for your freedom.

Know more about World Press Freedom Day