Here is a quote from Enoh Meyomesse (Cameroon) about the effect of receiving letters from PEN members while he was in prison:
“Your letters set me free. Your postcards broke my chains.”
On 15th November, to mark the Day of the Imprisoned Writer (and the first anniversary of the re-launch of Irish PEN/PEN na hÉireann), sixteen members joined us via Zoom to talk about selected writers and write letters and cards of support. Our featured writers were: Nedim Turfent (Turkey), Ilhan Sami Çomak (Turkey), Dawit Isaak (Eritrea), Amanuel Asrat (Eritea), Nasrin Sotoudeh (Iran), Pham Doan Trang (Vietnam) and Paola Ugaz (Peru).
This was a wonderfully friendly, engaged session where we thought about and talked about PEN’s principles of supporting writers who have been imprisoned because of their work, their ideas, their courage and their belief in freedom of expression.
With thanks to English PEN, PEN Norway and the Free the Poet Campaign and PEN International for their support.