International PEN Writers in Prison Committee announces a caselist: period July to December 2009

The International PEN Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) presents a caselist summarising all recorded attacks against writers, journalists and publishers in the period July to December 2009. The caselist also includes the total figures of attacks for the period January to December 2009. The caselist shows a slight and in some cases remarkable increase of attacks in 2009, compared with 2008.

In summary:

PEN’s WiPC recorded over the year 900 cases of attacks on freedom of expression, a slight increase on the previous year, 2008, where 877 attacks were recorded.

– The numbers of writers killed for reasons linked to their writings or peaceful political activities jumped from four in 2008 to 13 in 2009, a more than three fold increase.

– The numbers killed where the motives are not clear was 22 in 2009, compared with 20 in 2008.

– The numbers of writers serving long prison terms for reasons linked to their professions rose 13.5% from 133 in 2008 to 151 in 2009.

– PEN was investigating the detentions of 116 others in 2009, almost double the numbers in 2008, which stood at 65.

– There was a drop in recorded death threats and attacks in 2009, down from the previous year 30% and 26% respectively.

– The number of releases of those who had been held or on trial for considerable periods also dropped, from 65 in 2008 to 52 in 2009, a decrease of 10%.

Click here to read the caselist report.

The WiPC caselist is a key reference document for PEN members everywhere who are concerned for other writers and journalists globally who suffer restrictions on their right to practice their right to freedom of expression without hindrance. The caselist is used alongside Rapid Action Network actions, country campaigns and the Honorary Membership programme where Centres select individual writers for special work for individual honorary members.

Contacts
For further information please contact: International PEN Writers in Prison Committee, wipc@internationalpen.org.uk, phone: +44 20 74050338, fax: +44 20 74050339.

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