Free Word

Free Word (Vapaa sana) is an online writing series published by Finnish PEN. We publish poetry, prose, essays and articles mainly by our members but also texts written by writers whose freedom of expression is endangered. Free Word is also a platform for texts discussing timely freedom of expression topics. If you wish your text to be published in the series send it to For the full series, click:
Ukrainalainen toimittaja Nataliya Teramae

Nataliya Teramae: The Shell of a Snail

Read the Essay by Nataliya Teramae in Ukrainian. When you emigrate to a foreign country, you automatically start looking for...

/ 9 November 2022
Suomen PENin johtokunnan jäsen Joy Hyvärinen

Joy Hyvärinen: Does Finland need a commission on freedom of expression?

The freedom of expression commission appointed by the Norwegian government in 2020 has recently published its report (read the report...

/ 29 August 2022
Suomen PENin puheenjohtaja Peter Mickwitz kirjahyllyn edessä

Peter Mickwitz: Örnulf Tigerstedt, right-wing radical and president of PEN Finland

Panem et Circenses. Let me toast to your freedom your eight-hour workday, your cultivated soul, your progress and your other...

/ 20 August 2022
Judyth Hill

Judyth Hill: Wage peace

Author and active PEN International member Judyth Hill is visiting Finland’s PEN 5-11.5. In addition to his commitment to freedom...

/ 6 May 2022
Suomen PENin johtokunnan jäsen Joy Hyvärinen

Joy Hyvärinen: Freedom of expression, limits and forgotten groups

It can be challenging to defend freedom of expression. You have to be ready to also defend the right of...

/ 19 April 2022
Nataliya Teramae kesäisessä järvimaisemassa

Nataliya Teramae: How we brought up a dictator

Artists do have the gift of prophesying. For Ulf Stark’s book ‘The Dictator’ Linda Bondestam created a picture of a...

/ 31 March 2022
Suomen PENin johtokunnan jäsen Joy Hyvärinen

Joy Hyvärinen: Controversial copyright law on its way

Finland, like other EU countries, needs to change its legislation to take account of the EU’s new copyright directive (DSM...

/ 8 October 2021

Samay Hamed: For the last American soldier

For the last American soldier: Goodbye General Greet your daughter from the girls of Kabul Tell her about the colorful...

/ 1 September 2021
Kansainvälisen Valko-Venäjän kulttuuriviikon punavalkoinen logo

Siarhej Budkin: 35 000 shots in 10 months

Shot 1 The border between two countries. A plot of land in the borderland is well ploughed to see whether...

/ 5 July 2021
Turmenistanilais-ruotsalaisen kirjailija Ak Welsaparin kasvokuva

Ak Welsapar: Love in Lilac

A novella The sun rose higher and in the lilac garden everything was painfully familiar. Arslan had only to close...

/ 24 June 2021
Pilapiirtäjä Kianoush Ramezani seisoo ulkona silmä kiinni taustallaan sininen taivas, jolla on muutamia vaaleita pilviä

Kianoush Ramezani: Freedom after Expression: a new challenge

In 2006, I was invited to give a speech about Muhammad Cartoons and freedom of speech, at the Central European...

/ 24 November 2020
Puertoricolainen Alejandro Diaz on kuvan vasemmassa laidassa hattu päässään.

Ale Díaz: My Odyssey in the Migration System

My name is Alejandro Díaz Ortiz, I am a Puerto Rican artist, musician, songwriter, graphic designer and a filmmaker who...

/ 14 October 2020
Hondurasilainen ihmisoikeusaktivisti Erlin Mejia kulkee pyörätuolissa kahden mellakkavarusteisen poliisin välistä.

Claudia Morales: Erlin Mejía – Walking the refugee’s destiny

Erlin Armando Mejia Andino landed in Sweden three years ago, he is a 25 years old Honduran-born human rights activist...

/ 17 September 2020
Joonas Maristo

Joonas Maristo: Sananvapaus ja vastuu – tutkijan paikka vapaana?

Koronakriisi on opettanut meille ainakin kaksi asiaa. Ensinnäkin, maailma voi muuttua ja sitä voidaan muuttaa hyvin nopeasti. Toiseksi, kriisin vaikutukset...

/ 15 May 2020
Judyth Hill

Judyth Hill: The Hand That Holds the Pen Can Rock the World

I believe in Writers. Because we can speak softly and loudly and not carry a big stick. Because we can...

/ 19 April 2020
runoilija Yaseen Ghaleb

Yaseen Ghaleb: Cc: NO BODY

Cc: NO BODY 2020, Yaseen Ghaleb 1 Have you heard the voice of rose? Open your glass ears, release your...

/ 4 April 2020

Tom Dodd: The UK is committed to promoting the rights of LGBT people

The UK is widely recognised as a global champion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights. We are committed...

/ 30 October 2019

Veera Tyhtilä: Sananvapaus ja oikeistopopulismi

Niihin aikoihin, yli vuosikymmen sitten, keskustelin erään tuttavaporukan kanssa usein libertarismista. Erityisesti oikeistolibertarismista, eli ideologiasta, joka kannattaa henkilökohtaista ja taloudellista...

/ 5 June 2019

Shashank Mane: From India to Finland: A PEN Legacy

Freedom of speech is a first amendment in the constitution of the United States of America. As an Indian-American living...

/ 20 May 2019

Mojibur Doftori: Gandhi’s East-West Synthesis and Its Relevance in the 21st Century

Why Gandhi? At the end of 2018, we have been witnessing a global trend of the rise of illiberal democracy....

/ 2 January 2019