Alle innlegg av Larissa Avelar

2017: Turkey: Deniz Yücel

Deniz Yücel, a Turkish-German journalist, has been charged with incitement to hatred and propaganda for a terrorist organisation. Yücel had already been jailed following the coup attempt on 15th July 2016.

 

Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdağ
Ministry of Justice
Milli Müdafa Caddesi
06659 Kızılay-Ankara
Republic of Turkey
info@adalet.gov.tr

 

Oslo 22nd March 2017

Dear Minister,

Norwegian PEN is urgently concerned about the welfare of the Turkish-German journalist Deniz Yücel who was detained on 14th February 2017.

Yücel, a German citizen, has been charged with incitement to hatred and propaganda for a terrorist organisation under Article 216 and Article 220 (8) of Turkey’s Penal Code, and remains in prison whilst no date for his trial has been set.

PEN calls on the Turkish authorities to immediately release Yücel and all other detained writers and journalists if they are not to be charged with a recognizably criminal offence and tried promptly in accordance with international standards of fair trial.

We furthermore call on Turkish authorities to protect freedom of expression and human rights, and refrain from using the state of emergency to crack down on peaceful dissidents, civil society, media and education.
Yours sincerely,

Ms Johanne Fronth-Nygren
Member of Writers in Prison Committee
Norwegian PEN

 

COPY:

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım
Minister of Interior Affairs Selim Soylu
The Turkish Embassy in Norway
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

2017: Honduras: Jairo López

Jairo López, a Honduran journalist, is being target of a smear campaign. López is known for his investigative journalism. The Writers in Prison Committee believes the smear campaign is in response to an unfavorable report showing the President of the National Congress being attacked by protestors at a political gathering in Apacilagua.

 

Señor Julián Pacheco
Secretaria de Estado en el Despacho de  Seguridad
Aldea el Ocotal
Antiguo Local de la Academia Nacional de Policia ANAPO
Tegucigalpa
Honduras

1st of March 2017

Your Excellency,

 

The Norwegian WiPC – Writers in Prison Committee – is seriously concerned for the safety of PEN Honduras member and journalist Jairo López who is facing threats following a smear campaign.

López, who hosts TV News program El Informador for the local television channel Canal 21 in Choluteca, southern Honduras, is known for his investigative journalism. According to López,  a smear campaign against him began on February 7th 2017 when a piece was posted on social media claiming that the Public Prosecutor had issued a warrant for his arrest for being the leader of a local criminal gang and an emissary of a well-known drug trafficker. The Norwegian Writers in Prison Committee calls on the Honduran authorities to ensure the safety of Jairo López and to investigate the threats against him as a matter of urgency.

Claims such as those made against López not only damage his reputation as a journalist, but they also pose a serious threat to both him and his family. Since the video was posted, Lopez reports receiving threats and men on motorcycles have been seen circling his house.

We believe the smear campaign is in response to an unfavorable report on El Informador showing the President of the National Congress being attacked by protestors at a political gathering in Apacilagua, southern Honduras.  López is believed to be targeted as he is the director of the TV news program responsible for broadcasting the video.

We would welcome your comments on this matter.

Yours sincerely,
Øivind Hånes

WiPC Norway

COPY: Ministry of Security in Honduras; National Human Rights Ombudsman in Hondura; Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Tyrkia-nytt fra Norsk PEN

Tyrkia-nytt fra januar 2017: Grunnlovsendring, menneskerettighetsorganisasjoner etterforskes, Darwin’s evolusjonsteori “artenes opprinnelse” fjernes fra skolebøker

PEN-delegasjonen stoppet utenfor Silivri-fengselet i januar. Foto: William Nygaard

Januar 2017

Grunnlovsendringen – representanter for “Folkets demokratiske parti” (HDP) forsøkt fjernet fra parlamentet før avstemming

“Citizen Initiative” sier i en melding at forsøk på å utelukke det tredje største partiet i Parlamentet når det skal stemmes over de konstitusjonelle endringene senere i vinter, er en urovekkende utvikling for demokratiet i Tyrkia. På bakgrunn av arrestasjonene av representanter for HDP, har “Citizens Initiative” oppfordret til støtte for HDP.

“Citizens Initiative” har også sendt brev til politikere om grunnlovsendringene som skal gjennomføres i parlamentet, og uttaler at ”i tilfelle utkastet blir vedtatt, vil det parlamentariske systemet bli suspendert” og ber om at parlamentet ikke blir en “virksomhet uten funksjon.”

“Det er ingen arresterte journalister i Tyrkia”

Justisminister Bekir Bozdag har nylig uttalt at «ingen i Tyrkia er arrestert fordi de utfører journalistisk arbeid.”

Disse uttalelsene fra Bozdag motsier imidlertid de rapportene som ble lansert av både nasjonale og internasjonale presseorganisasjoner tidligere denne måneden. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) indikerer at det er mer enn 100 journalister i tyrkiske fengsler, og at dette tallet har økt med fire i 2016 sammenlignet med året før. Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) har,  i sin 2016 World Press Freedom Report, også sagt at  minst 257 journalister over hele verden ble fengslet i 2016, og at rekorden tilhører Tyrkia med 81 fengslede journalister.  Amerikanske Freedom House har annonsert at Tyrkia har gått tilbake til «Not Free» i 2016 i en oversikt over pressefrihet internasjonalt. Ifølge data fra Det tyrkiske journalistforbundet og Den tyrkiske journalistunionen, er det ca 150 pressearbeidere i tyrkiske fengsler.

Blant disse er Norsk PENs nærmeste samarbeidspartner i Tyrkia, Sanar Yurdatapan, som nylig fikk en dom på et år og tre måneders fengsel for å “spre propaganda på vegne av en ulovlig organisasjon” fordi han deltok i en solidaritetsaksjon for den allerede stengte avisen Özgür Gündem.

Menneskerettighetsorganisasjoner i Tyrkia etterforskes

Påtalemyndighetene i Ankara har nå startet etterforskning av flere tyrkiske MR-organisasjoner for brudd på den famøse paragraf 301 i den tyrkiske straffeloven.  Paragrafen forbyr borgere å “rakke ned på repubikken Tyrkia, på det tyrkiske og på landets institusjoner.”  I følge en talsmann for “Human Rights Association, ble etterforskningen igangsatt i forbindelse en rapport om portforbudet i Tyrkia som organisasjonen hadde under arbeid.

Samtidig har det tyrkiske innenriksdepartementet stoppet virksomheten til 94 ulike organisasjoner, basert på en lov om “nasjonal unntakstilstand”.  Departementet påstår at organisasjonene er blitt «kjent for å utgjøre en trussel mot rikets sikkerhet.» 42 av organisasjonene hevdes å ha forbindelser med FETÖ (det myndighetene i Tyrkia har klassifisert som Fethullah Gülens “terrororganisasjon”), 26 med PKK / KCK, 19 med organisasjoner som er klassifisert som «ekstreme venstreorienterte» og 4 med IS.

Darwin’s evolusjonsteori “artenes opprinnelse” fjernes fra tyrkiske skolebøker

Det tyrkiske utdanningsdepartementet har nå “omstukturert” lærerplanene i den videregående skole og bestemt at det ikke lenger skal undervises i biologi.  Darwins teori blir nå forklart som «en teori som forklarer endringen i arter og fremveksten av nye arter; så vel som faktorer og mekanismer som påvirker utviklingen » og evolusjonslæren er nå blitt erstattet med et kapittel myndighetene kaller “organismer og miljø.”

 

The Initiative for Freedom of Expression har kartlagt pågående rettssaker mot skribenter, journalister og andre frie ytrere i databasen Current Trial Library.

Vi anbefaler også en rundtur i deres Museum of Crimes of Thought.

Nærmere informasjon om enkeltsaker:
Freedom of Expression Weekly Bulletin/Düşünce Suçuna, epost: dusunthink@gmail.com

2017: Iran: Keywan Karimi

Keywan Karimi, Iranian filmmaker, was arrested in 2016 and sentenced to one year in prison and to receive 223 lashes. He has had several episodes of pulmonary bleeding and the doctors advised the prison authorities to transfer him to a specialized facility, but the transfer has been denied.

To
Leader of the Islamic Republic
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street — End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Oslo, February 16th 2017

Your Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei,
The Norwegian Writers in Prison Committee is expressing serious concern for Keywan Karimi’s health and urging that he is given access to specialised medical care as a matter of urgency. The committee is troubled by the conviction and harsh sentence imposed on Karimi and we are calling on the Iranian authorities to quash his conviction as it is connected to his peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression

We are also concern about his flogging sentence, which violates the absolute prohibition in international law against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

The committee is therefore calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all writers and journalists currently detained in Iran because of their peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression, in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a state party.

Yours sincerely,

Jørgen Lorentzen
Member of Writers in Prison Committee
PEN Norway

 

COPY:

The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Head of the Judiciary in Iran

2017: Turkey: Sajjad Jahan Fard

Sajjad Jahan Fard, journalist and writer, and his friend Hassan Baladeh were arrested while on Mardin, in South-eastern Turkey, and are charged with “membership in a terrorist organization”. Linked to the Kurdish intellectual community, Fard and Baladeh are facing up to 10 years in prison.

 

Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdağ
Milli Müdafaa Caddesi No: 22
Bakanlıklar
06659, Kızılay
Ankara
Turkey

February 10th 2017

Dear Sir,

PEN International and The Norwegian Writers in Prison Committee are concerned with the arrest and detention of Kurdish Iranian writer and journalist Sajjad Jahan Fard, and that of his friend Hassan Baladeh, who were charged on 25th January 2017 with “membership of a terrorist organisation”. Upon their arrest they were refused access to their families and legal counsel for four days.

Fard and Baladeh were arrested while on a trip to the city of Mardin, in South-eastern Turkey. They were there as tourists, taking pictures, as any tourist would do, and the charges against them are groundless.

PEN International urges the Turkish authorities to release them immediately. We urge you to safeguard freedom of expression, human rights and to release all journalists and writers held solely in connection with their peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression.

 

Yours sincerely,

Mari Moen Holsve

Member of Writers in Prison Committee
Norwegian PEN

 

COPY: President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Embassy of Turkey in Norway, The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

2017: Kyrgyzstan: Azimjon Askarov

In 2010 Kygyzstan saw the arrest of its journalist and human rights activist Azimjon Askarov. Under charges of organising mass disorder and complicity in the murder of a police officer, mr. Askarov did not receive a fair trial and has endured torture and other forms of ill treatment since his arrest. Askarov is now victim of the police corruption and brutality on which he used to report. Norwegian PEN and the Writers in Prison Committee for his immediate release.

 

President of Kyrgyzstan
His Excellency Almazbek Atambayev
Office of the President
Chuy Avenue 205
72003 Bishek
Republic of Kyrgyzstan
psp@adm.gov.kg, oip@adm.gov.kg

 

Oslo 7th February 2017

Your Excellency,

Norwegian PEN is urgently concerned about the health and welfare of journalist and human rights defender Azimjon Askarov, who was arrested in June 2010 and remains in prison, where he is serving a life sentence on charges of organising mass disorder and complicity in the murder of a police officer.

The UN Human Rights Committee declared in March 2016 that Askarov had been arbitrarily detained, tortured, mistreated and prevented from adequately preparing his defence, in addition to being denied treatment for grave medical conditions.

PEN calls on Kyrgyzstan’s authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Askarov, overturn his conviction and investigate his allegations of torture fully and impartially.

Anyone found responsible for violating Askarov’s rights should be brought to justice, and Askarov granted adequate redress for any such violations, including, but not limited to, an enforceable right to compensation for any form of torture he is found to have been subjected to.

 

Yours sincerely,

Ms Johanne Fronth-Nygren
Member of Writers in Prison Committee
Norwegian PEN

 

COPY:

Prosecutor General Indira Djoldubaeva
Botschaft der Kirgisischen Republik in der BRD
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

2017: Russia: Natalya Sharina

Natalya Sharina, the director of the Library of Ukranian Literature in Moscow, has been charged with “inciting ethnic hatred and humiliating human dignity,” and has been under house arrest since 2015. The Norwegian Library Association and Norwegian PEN have sent an appeal to Russian authorities calling for he release.

 

Embassy of the Russian Federation
Drammensveien 74
0244 OSLO

Oslo, 31st  January 2017

 

Your Excellencies,


We write to you as the chair of the committee of freedom of expression in the Norwegian Library Association (NLA) and the chair of the Writers in Prison Committee of Norwegian PEN.


Natalya Sharina, Director of the Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow, has now been under house arrest for more than a year. 
The Norwegian Library Association and the Norwegian PEN organization remains extremely concerned over the treatment of Sharina. She was arrested and placed under house arrest in October 2015 after being accused of inciting hatred or animosity towards a social group by allegedly holding banned books in the Library.  Sharina was subsequently arrested, and placed under house arrest. The Court has now extended her house arrest until 28 April 2017, but allowed Natalya Sharina to have daily walks in fresh air for two hours.


We express our deepest concerns at the continued imprisonment of Sharina, and call for her immediate and unconditional release if she is held – as we believe is very likely to be the case – solely for the peaceful exercise of her right to freedom of expression. 
We believe that the treatment of the Library of Ukrainian Literature, and its staff – and in particular Natalya Sharina – is completely disproportionate and unnecessary. As such it is an attack on democracy, learning and culture.


Libraries and librarians have a key role in supporting human rights, including freedom of access to information and freedom of expression, and an attack on libraries or librarians is an attack on democracy and culture.


We are strongly committed to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:


Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.


The Norwegian Library Association and the Norwegian PEN 
calls upon the Russian officials to release Natalya Sharina, in line with Russia’s obligation to respect the right to freedom of expression.

 

Brit Bildøen,                                                 Ingeborg Rygh Hjorthen,

 

Chair of the Writers in Prison Committee,          Chair of the committee of freedom of expression,

Norwegian PEN                                               Norwegian Library Association

2017: Azerbaijan: Rashad Ramazanov

The Azerbaijani writer and blogger Rashad Ramazanov has been moved into solitary confinement . Mr. Ramazanov was charge with possession of drugs, however, PEN believes his detention is politically motivated and connected to mr. Ramazanov’s anti-government writing.

Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Barnhusgatan 3
SE-11 23 Stockholm
azerembassy@gmail.com

Oslo, 31.01.2017

 

Your Excellences,

Norwegian PEN is deeply concerned about the health and well-being of writer and blogger Rashad Ramazanov, who has been moved into solitary confinement at Baku Prison #2, where he is serving a nine-year sentence for his anti-government writings. Ramazanov suffer from several medical problems, and there is now serious concerns for his well-being and physical integrity. He is also being denied family visits and access to his lawyer.

Azerbaijan has its obligations under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to protect the right to freedom of expression.

PEN protest the detention of Ramazanov on politically motivated charges, and call on the Azerbaijan authorities to release him immediately and unconditionally and to overturn his conviction and sentence.

 

Yours sincerely,

Ms Brit Bildøen
Chair of Writers in Prison Committee
Norwegian PEN

 

 

COPY: The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

2017 China: Independent Chinese PEN Center

In China writers, journalists, the Independent Chinese PEN Center and its members, as well as other critical voices have been persecuted, harassed, imprisoned, and sometimes forcibly disappeared. Norwegian PEN and the Writers in Prison Committee call on Chinese authorities to comply with the right of freedom of expression.

Oslo, January 5th 2017

His Excellency Xi Jinping
President of the People’s Republic of China
State Council
Beijing 100032
P.R. China

 

Your Excellency,

The Norwegian PEN and its Writers in Prison Committee is hereby calling for the release of all writers, journalists and publishers imprisoned in violation of their right to freedom of expression in the People’s Republic of China. We are urging you to cease the harassment and persecution of members of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre, and lift all restrictions on their freedom to exit and enter mainland China, particularly to attend PEN International conferences and to return home.

We are also calling on you to end the practice of enforced disappearance and the use of forced confessions, which contravene an individual’s right to fair trial.

Finally, we are calling on you to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which was signed by the People’s Republic of China in October 1998.

 

On behalf of the Norwegian Writers in Prison Committee,

 

Øivind Hånes
author

 

 

Copies: Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Kingdom of Norway; The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

18. oktober: Lanseringsmøte for Norsk PEN Vestlandet: Hvor går Tyrkia nå?

Lanseringsmøte for Norsk PEN avdeling Vestlandet: Hvor går Tyrkia nå?

Demokratiet og ytringsfrihetens kår i Tyrkia

18.00-18.15: Velkommen, ved William Nygaard, styreleder i Norsk PEN.

18.15-18.20: Hvem og hva er Norsk PEN avdeling Vestlandet? Ved Nuray Y. Gullestad og Jan H. Landro.

18.20-18.50: Ytringsfrihetens kår i Midtøsten og Tyrkia etter den arabiske våren. Ved NRK-journalist og forfatter Sigurd Falkenberg Mikkelsen.

18.50-19.00: PAUSE

19.00- 1945: Hvor går Tyrkia nå? Nuray Y. Gullestad i samtale med Sigurd Falkenberg Mikkelsen, filmskaper Nefise Øzkan Lorentzen og forsker Joakim Parslow.

19.45-20.00: Spørsmål fra salen.

Lokal: Bergen Offentlige Bibliotek i Strømgaten 6, 5015 Bergen
Når: 18. oktober, kl. 18:00 – 20:00