SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

PEN America: Freedom to Write Index 2019

Source PEN America
Thursday , 21 May 2020

Amid global retrenchment on human rights and fundamental freedoms—deepening authoritarianism in Russia, China, and much of the Middle East; democratic retreat in parts of Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia; and new threats in established democracies in North America and Western Europe—the brave individuals who speak out, challenge tyranny, and make the intellectual case for freedom are on the front line of the battle to keep societies open, defend the truth, and resist repression. Writers and intellectuals are often among the canaries in the coal mine who, alongside journalists and human rights activists, are first targeted when a country takes a more authoritarian turn. The unjust detention and imprisonment of writers and intellectuals impacts both the individuals themselves and the broader public, who are deprived of innovative and influential voices of dissent, criticism, creativity, and conscience. For this reason, the targeting of writers and public intellectuals for exercising their freedom of expression should be a source of grave concern to all.

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