Take action for Zehra Doğan

Artist and journalist Zehra Doğan is serving a prison sentence of two years, nine months and 22 days having been convicted of ‘propagandising for a terrorist organisation’ (Article 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law) on 24 March 2017. PEN considers her imprisonment a violation of her right to freedom of expression and calls for her immediate and unconditional release.

In a letter to family member in October 2017, Doğan wrote:

When they were coming to a verdict on my work exposing the destruction in Nusaybin, they asked ‘Did you create this picture?’ and I replied ‘No, you did’ and was arrested. During my previous detention, I had commented ‘They imprisoned me for my writings and drawings but I still have my brush and pen’. This time round they’re not giving me my brush. But to provoke or prevent me from producing my art is nobody’s business. I learned within these walls to mix drawing colours from food and drink – I continue to paint and write. A person’s imagination expands when imprisoned. I paint the women here and write about their stories. You can imprison an artist but you can’t stop her productivity.

Read more about Zehra’s incredible resilience and how she has created the painting supplies she is being denied by the authorites on Al-Monitor.

For further background information, please see PEN’s previous blog post on her case.

Take Action

Spread the word

Share details of Zehra Doğan’s case with friends and colleagues, in your local and national press and on social media #FreeZehraDoğan #FreeTurkeyMedia #ImprisonedWriter

Send a message of support

Please consider sending a letter or postcard to show support and solidarity. Please note that the prison only accepts letters in Turkish. If you do not speak Turkish, you can use the model letter provided.

‘Zehra, yalnız değilsin. Emeğinle gurur duyuyor, cesaretini kutluyoruz. Sesinin dünyada duyulduğunu bilmeni istiyoruz. Özgürlüğün için mücadele vermeyi sürdüreceğiz.’

(Reads: Zehra you are not alone. We are proud of your work and celebrate your courage. Your voice is heard around the world and we will keep advocating for your freedom.)

Zehra Doğan BK-4
5 Nisan Mah. Emek Cad.
Diyarbakır E Tipi Kapalı CİK
Bağlar/Diyarbakır 21080

Write to the authorities

Please send appeals:

  • Urging the Turkish authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Zehra Doğan, as she is imprisoned solely for having exercised her right to freedom of expression as an artist and as a journalist.

Minister of Justice
Abdülhamit Gül
Milli Müdafaa Caddesi No: 22
06659, Kızılay
Fax: +90 312 419 33 70
Email: abdulhamit.gul@tbmm.gov.tr
Salutation: Your Excellency

Prime Minister
Binali Yıldırım
Çankaya Mah. Ziaur Rahman
Cad. Çankaya
Fax: +90 312 422 10 00
Email: binali.yildirim@tbmm.gov.tr
Salutation: Your Excellency

About English PEN staff

This content is published by the English PEN staff.

View all posts by English PEN staff →

One Comment on “Take action for Zehra Doğan”

  1. Very touched to receive the following response from Zehra. Please do take a few moments to send a message of support – it can make a huge difference.

    Dear Cat and precious PEN family,

    Thank you so much for the postcard you sent me. The colourful shawls in the photograph are the same as those that women wear in the land I was born. Multicoloured and deep. Just like life, which harbours many mysterious tunnels.

    These shawls that hang from any European city seem to speak of us, thinking the same thing in a different land, writing for the same reasons.

    We are in different territories but with your letter you’ve evoked yourselves to me. You’ve made me feel that I’m not alone in this enormous yet ugly captive castle.

    Thank you infinitely for that.

    With love and best regards,
    Zehra Doğan
    Diyarbakır E Type Closed Prison

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *