Persecuted authors worldwide: 7 of the worst cases

Persecuted authors worldwide: 7 of the worst cases

Egypt - Ahmed Naji

The Egyptian author Ahmed Naji is serving a two-year prison sentence for "violation of public modesty." He wrote a novel with a sex scene and a reader sued him, claiming that the content made his heartbeat fluctuate. PEN International calls for the release of Naji on the basis of his universal right to freedom of expression.

Persecuted authors worldwide: 7 of the worst cases

Honduras - Cesario Alejandro Félix Padilla Figueroa

Cesario Alejandro Félix Padilla Figueroa is a founding member of PEN Honduras. For years, he has faced unlawful state surveillance. Now he is threatened with a prison sentence of several years. PEN International calls for his release, as the worldwide association of writers believes that Padilla and other students are prosecuted for exercising their right to freedom of expression and assembly.

Persecuted authors worldwide: 7 of the worst cases

China - Gao Yu

The German government has intervened several times to defend Gao Yu. The renowned Chinese journalist has been repeatedly sentenced to long prison terms for criticizing her country's political system in her articles. Gao Yu has also worked for Deutsche Welle.

Persecuted authors worldwide: 7 of the worst cases

Saudi-Arabia - Raif Badawi

The fate of the Saudi blogger Raif Badawi made headlines worldwide. The internet activist and creator of the website "Free Saudi Liberals" was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and 1,000 lashes for "insulting Islam." The European Parliament awarded him the 2015 Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought, which was handed out to his wife in his name.

Persecuted authors worldwide: 7 of the worst cases

Israel - Dareen Tatour

The Israeli police arrested the Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour on October 11, 2015. She was charged with "support for a terrorist organisation" and "incitements to violence" through her poems. PEN International calls for her immediate release.

Persecuted authors worldwide: 7 of the worst cases

Turkey - Asli Erdogan

The author of seven novels, Asli Erdogan was working as a journalist until she was arrested on August 17, 2016 in her apartment in Istanbul, a month after the attempted coup in Turkey. At the beginning of November, she wrote an urgent plea to world leaders from the infamous Bakirkoy Prison where she is detained. PEN International urges Turkish authorities to release her immediately.

Persecuted authors worldwide: 7 of the worst cases

China - Gui Minhai

Critic of the regime and author Gui Minhai lived in Hong Kong and ran the publishing house Mighty Current. In October 2015, he suddenly disappeared during a stay in Thailand. Observers suspect his disappearance is linked to a book published by Gui about a former lover of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Countless authors, publishers and journalists are persecuted as freedom of expression is under attack throughout the world. Here are seven of the worst cases.

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