Writers Persecuted for their Literature

September 24, 2010 at 12:46 pm (Banned Books Week)

Amnesty International USA provides lists of indivisuals who are in danger, in prison or on the run because of the literature they have produced. Banned Books Week, is not confined to one week alone. This situation is an ongoing threat that is more dangerous than we realize. It begins with dislike and prejudice, turns to censorship and banning, on to burning – then before we know it, our writers will be running for their lives. This is not a world we want to live in.

AS franklin Roosevelt said:

“If in other lands the press and books and literature of all kinds are censored, we must redouble our efforts here to keep them free”


The Faces of the Persecuted

Eynulla Fatullayev
journalist harassed and imprisoned

After writing another series of articles critical of the government, including a discussion of possible consequences for Azerbaijan of a US-Iranian war, which the Azerbaijani authorities regarded as a threat of terrorism, Eynulla Fatullayev was sentenced (30 October 2007) to an additional eight and a half years’ imprisonment on various charges lacking plausible evidence and considered to be politically motivated. In April 2010 the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Eynulla Fatullayev’s conviction violated his rights to free expression, that he had been unfairly tried, and that there was “no justification for the imposition of a prison sentence”.

Nurmemet Yasin
writer in prison

Uighur poet & story writer Nurmemet Yasin is serving a 10-year prison sentence for writing an allegorical short story that the authorities consider to be a veiled indictment of their rule in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR). He is a prisoner of conscience.


Hengameh Shahidi
imprisoned journalist

Hengameh Shahidi, aged about 35, is a journalist and political activist who is currently serving a six-year sentence in Evin Prison, Tehran, while suffering from a heart condition that requires regular medication. She is a prisoner of conscience.

Chekib El-Khiari
journalist jailed & fined

Journalist and human rights defender Chekib El-Khiari is serving a three-year sentence in Taza prison. Amnesty International considers him to be a prisoner of conscience imprisoned solely for his legitimate and peaceful human rights work.

Jean Leonard Rugambage
journalist killed

Rwandan journalist Jean Leonard Rugambage was killed on 24 June 2010. Authorities should establish an independent commission of inquiry into the killing and ensure that other journalists can work in safety. Over recent years, Rwandan journalists working for non-state media frequently have been threatened and physically assaulted.


Prageeth Eknaligoda
journalist & cartoonist disappeared

Journalist, cartoonist and political analyst Prageeth Eknaligoda disappeared from Homagama, near the capital, Colombo, shortly after leaving work at the Lanka-e-News office on 24 January 2010.


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