(This message comes from English PEN. With thanks to Cat Lucas.)
‘I’m stuck where to start. I’m also anxious that I’m knowingly writing you a letter you cannot receive or respond to. I hope that, one day, though you may be the last person to do so, you will read it.’
– Yirgalem Fisseha Mebrahtu for PEN Transmissions
Today, 26 July 2021, is the 50th birthday of Eritrean poet and editor Amanuel Asrat, the first featured writer of our PENWrites campaign. One of PEN’s longest-standing cases of concern, Amanuel remains imprisoned and incommunicado in Eritrea, nearly 20 years after he was first arrested.
To mark the day, we have featured a piece by award-winning writer and PEN Eritrea member Yirgalem Fisseha Mebrahtu on our online magazine, PEN Transmissions. Please do read and share this very moving piece.
We continue to gather messages of solidarity for Amanuel’s family to show them that he has not been – and will not be – forgotten. Please do send a message if you can, and help spread the word.