International Campaigns

Every year, hundreds of writers and other literary professionals around the world are imprisoned, prosecuted, persecuted, attacked, threatened, forced into exile or even murdered as a result of their work

Through English PEN’s International Campaigns, we seek to defend and support these writers and their families, to pressurise governments where the right to freedom of expression is under attack, and to help bring about the necessary changes to make the freedom to write a reality around the world.

English PEN’s International Campaigns are overseen by the Writers at Risk Committee (formerly the Writers in Prison Committee), founded in 1960 and now one of the world’s longest running campaigns for free expression. The work is co-ordinated by our office-based Campaigns Team and informed by the research of our colleagues at PEN International.

Visit our latest campaigns page for more information about individual writers currently at risk around the world and to take action.

Our Current Work

Turkey Focus

In 2013-14 we will be running a series of events, publications and literary campaigns on Turkey.  [More].

Vietnam Focus

In 2013-14 we will also be campaigning for greater freedom of expression in Vietnam. [latest]

Priosn Poetry from Cameroon

A literary campaigning project on behalf of imprisoned Cameroonian poet Enoh Meyomesse. [Read more]

Previous Campaigns

Poems for Pussy Riot

A collaborative literary campaigning project on behalf of formerly imprisoned members of Russian punk group Pussy Riot. [read more]

To coincide with the China market focus at the London Book Fair, English PEN hosted the ‘China Inside Out’ festival [read more].

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of our Writers in Prison Committee, we collaborated with Index on Censorship on a special edition of their award-winning magazine. [read more]

As part of the PEN International Freedom to Write in the Americas campaign, we produced a briefing on Free Expression in Cuba. [read more]