Writers at Risk Committee

Campaigning for writers and others who have been imprisoned or threatened because they exercised their freedom of expression is at the deepest core of PEN’s human rights work.

PEN’s representatives report on murders of writers and journalists, torture, disappearances, assaults and threats all over the world – many different kinds of human rights violations directed against actors in the literary world.

Every year tens of writers and journalists are killed. Many of those working professionally in the field of writing are subjected to threats and violence because of their work. One way of measuring openness, fairness and the state of democracy in any country is to investigate how free the press is.

PEN takes a stand against these injustices and raises them in public debates. PEN appeals to authorities to improve the situation. PEN also maintains contact with prisoners and their families. PEN may be able to help those at risk to flee elsewhere, but unfortunately the numbers are many times more than there are places of respite in safe havens like residencies for authors and journalists.

Finnish PEN’s Honorary Members

PEN centres around the world select Honorary Members and share information about their cases and appeal to authorities.


Dawit Isaak, Eritrea

Uladzimir Njakljaeu, Belarus

Nasrin Sotoudeh, Iran


The committee chairs are Iida Simes and Janne Huuskonen.