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Day of the Imprisoned Writer: Writers as Champions of the Right to Free Expression
Since November 15, 1981, the Day of the Imprisoned Writer has been an opportunity for the international PEN network of over 100 centers around the world to draw particular attention to writers at risk and threats to free expression globally. By detaining writers, governments worldwide deprive them of their individual right to free speech, while also robbing the broader public of access to their innovative and influential voices of dissent, criticism, creativity, and conscience. In the 2020 Freedom to Write Index, PEN America found that last year, at least 273 writers and public intellectuals worldwide were jailed for their free expression, a number that increased from 238 writers in 2019. This year, marking the 40-year anniversary of the Day of the Imprisoned Writer, PEN America is holding a virtual panel discussion with special remarks from noted writers and Members of Congress in honor of imprisoned and at-risk writers around the world. On this day, we remember their imprisonment and forced absence with an empty chair.

Join us on November 15 at 11 am ET for a panel discussion with formerly imprisoned writers, family members, and advocates on the importance of international solidarity, with special remarks celebrating writers as champions of free expression. The panel discussion will feature opening remarks by writer, editor, and PEN America Trustee Marie Arana and closing remarks by author Azar Nafisi.

Join the community of international writers defending the freedom to write by speaking about cases of writers at risk online and reciting, reposting, and remembering their powerful words. Tag @penamerica and use the hashtag #FreedomToWrite.

Nov 15, 2021 11:00 AM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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