To Prime minister Erdogan, Turkey:
We who have signed this letter wish to express our strong opposition to the detention without trial of the writer and lawyer Muharrem Erbey, who was arrested on December 26, 2009.
Erbey is a long-time member of PEN and has, as a lawyer, been recognised as a strong advocate for human rights. We find it very disturbing that the charges against Mr Erbey are founded on a very weak basis. We likewise find it disturbing, from an international point of view, that one of the main charges against Mr Erbey is that he, as an invited guest, has been giving speeches in several national parliaments, among them the Swedish Riksdag. This is being held against him as a criminal act.
To prosecute a writer and human rights lawyer for engaging in a free exchange of views and thoughts with European MPs is against the UN Declaration of Human Rights and against the idea of a democratic society in general.
We urge you to secure the immediate release of Mr Muharrem Erbey and to ensure that he is allowed to resume his work as a free writer and human rights lawyer.
Ghayath Almadhoun, poet
Nasim Aghili, director
Faraj Bayrakdar, poet
Moa-Lisa Björk, translator
Mustafa Can, writer
Firat Ceweri, writer, member of the board of swedish PEN
Peter Curman, poet
Haideh Daragahi, litteraturvetare
Dilsa Demirbag-Sten, writer
Mehrdad Darvishpour, Ph D of sociology
Liljana Dufgran, writer
Kerstin Ekman, writer
Maria Ekman, translator
Oskar Ekström, project leader, Shahrazad
Torbjörn Elensky, writer
Peter Englund, writer, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy
Kjell Espmark, writer, member of the Swedish Academy
Marco Espvall, writer
Ahmad Eskandari, writer
Carl Etzler, writer
Lars Grahn, publisher
Lars Gustafsson, writer
Azadeh Rojhan Gustafsson, politician
Lennart Hagerfors, writer
Hanna Hallgren, poet and critic
Lars Hjalmarson, publisher, member of the board of swedish PEN
Kristina Hultman, writer and journalist
sholeh Irani, writer
Dan Israel, publisher
Taher Jambarsang, journalist
P.C. Jersild, writer
Ann Jäderlund, poet
Lena Kallenberg, writer
Martin Kaunitz, publisher, member of the board of swedish PEN
Amineh Kakabaveh, swedish member of parliament
Ulla Keyling, writer
Agneta Klingspor, writer
Ulrika Knutson, journalist, president of Swedish Publicist club
Helga Krook, poet
Murat Kuseyri, journalist
Ola Larsmo, writer, president of swedish PEN
Torgny Lindgren, writer, member of the Swedish Academy
Sven Lindqvist, writer
Inga-Lina Lindqvist, writer
Björn Linnell, publisher
Mikael Löfgren, writer
Azar Mahloujian, writer, member of the board of swedish PEN
Bodil Malmsten, writer
Henning Mankell writer
Robab Moheb, poet
Peter Mosskin, writer
Suzanne Nessim, artist
Meta Ottosson, translator
Agneta Pleijel, writer
Mattias Pleijel, journalist
Faramarz Pooya, writer
Gun Qvarzell, editor
Annina Rabe, literary critic
Gail Ramsay, professor of arabic
Ingrid Rasch, producer
Sohrab Rahimi, poet, translator
Anisur Rahman, ICORN writer in residence
Mahshid Rasti, Human Right activist
Anneli Rogeman, editor, VI magazine
Arne Ruth, publicist
Linda Schenck, translator
Eugene Schoulgin, writer
Boel Schenlaer, poet
Hossein Sheiban, lecturer, Stockholm Universitet
Ardalan Shekarabi, lawyer and member of Parliament
Helena Sigander, writer
Göran Sonnevi, poet
Jan Henrik Swahn , writer
Anne Swärd, writer
Tomas Tranströmer, poet
Marita Ulvskog, Member of EU parliament
Birgitta Wallin, editor
Ola Wallin, publisher, , member of the board of swedish PEN
Siv Wideberg, writer
Maj-Britt Wiggh, writer
Per Wirtén, writer and journalist
Per Wästberg, writer, member of Swedish Academy
Nasser Yousefi, director and journalist
Monica Zak, writer
Naser Zeraati, writer
Jannike Åhlund, project leader
Statement of the Writers for Peace Committee of International PEN Concerning the Tragic Events of May 31, 2010
The Writers for Peace Committee follows the Lugano Declaration in condemning individual terrorism as well as State terrorism; we declare that those who resort to violence, even for a good cause, „annul the missions to which they are dedicated and lose all claims to legitimacy” (quoted from the Statement of the 50th Congress of International PEN in Lugano, Switzerland, May 1987).
We declare that:
2. We protest against the grave violation of the right to freedom of expression of the journalists on board.
3. We demand that the government of the State of Israel agree that an international committee investigate and throw light on the events and establish responsibility.
6. It is the role of the international community through its institutions to make this political dialogue possible. It must draw on the resources of the respective cultures, particularly the literary ones, of the two peoples whose writers are witnesses to peace and are committed to achieving it.
June 14, 2010
Dr. Edvard Kovač
President of the Writers for Peace Committee of International PEN
Secretary General of International PEN
14 juni 2010
Två veckor har nu gått sedan den israeliska arméns bordning av den internationella konvojen med förnödenheter till det avspärrade Gaza. PEN oroas särskilt av den brist på respekt för pressfriheten och journalisters arbetsvillkor som militären visade. Enligt uppgifter från Reportrar utan gränser fängslades minst sexton journalister, från länder som Bulgarien, Tyskland och Australien. Andra fick sin utrustning och sitt material belagtaget.
- Alltfler journalister stupar, skadas eller fängslas i krig. Det är en oroande trend som blir allt värre. Men man bör påminna sig om att detta skedde på internationellt vatten och inte i någon krigszon, säger Ola Larsmo, ordförande i Svenska PEN.
PEN ställer sig alltså bakom de krav på en oberoende utredning av behandlingen av journalisterna ombord som framförts av Reportrar utan Gränser.
Läs Internationella PENs deklaration om behandlingen av journalister ombord på Gaza-konvojen här.
Reportrar utan Gränsers uttalande kan läsas här.