SW Daily

  • Mansur Rajih: A Poet and Human in Exile
    Mansur Rajih: A Poet and Human in Exile

    This year, the Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of International PEN, celebrates 50 years of defending freedom of expression around the world with a year-long campaign – Because Writers Speak their Minds. As part of this campaign, the Committee looks back on 50 emblematic cases illustrating how and why they have worked. One case on this list is story of Mansur Rajih. This poet was the first International Cities of Refugee Network’s guest writer in Stavanger, Norway, where he arrived in 1998 after spending 15 years in prison in Yemen.

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  • cuban_prison
    Silenced Voices: Cuba

    This article is an excerpt from Lucy Popescu‘s Silenced Voices. An extended version of this article detailing censorship and repression in Cuba was originally published in the Literary Review section of Sampsonia Way.

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  • Protecting Freedom of Expression: Interview with ICORN's Helge Lund
    Protecting Freedom of Expression: Interview with ICORN’s Helge Lunde

    Sampsonia Way is pleased to present a series of interviews with writers from all over the world who have participated in International Cities if Refugee Network (ICORN). By way of introduction we present this interview with ICORN Executive Director, Helge Lunde. Here he tells the story of ICORN’s founding, how it has provided support for persecuted writers, and what inspires him to do this work.

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  • A Thorn in the Side of Georgia’s Rose Revolution
    A Thorn in the Side of Georgia’s Rose Revolution

    Vakhtang Komakhidze was an investigative journalist in Georgia with a nose for a story and a record of annoying the authorities. His revelations of official corruption ended in the death threats which forced him to seek asylum in Switzerland. Robin Oisín Llewellyn talked to him about the limits of media freedom in Georgia.

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  • Manipulating the Memory of the Rwandan Genocide
    Manipulating the Memory of the Rwandan Genocide

    The Rwandan government has made remarkable strides in infrastructure, the economy, healthcare, and gender equity in political representation, but their continued attack on independent thought and criticism is disheartening – and dangerous. As the August presidential election looms, it is important not only to hail Rwanda’s success but also to ask hard questions about government abuse of authority.

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  • Ships in the mist scenes from a burmese childhood
    Ships in the Mist: Scenes from a Burmese Childhood

    This month we have dedicated our coverage to Burma and it’s repressive and secretive regime. Because publishing is so tightly controlled there and the government regulates communication, it is difficult to have access to stories of daily life in Burma, a perspective offered here by City of Asylum writer-in-residence Khet Mar. Khet Mar fled Burma in 2006 after her relief work with Cyclone Nargis survivors attracted the attention of the junta.

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  • Burmese Writer-In-Exile Speaks in Pittsburgh
    Burmese Writer-In-Exile Speaks in Pittsburgh

    Khet Mar does not look like a revolutionary. She is demure, soft-spoken, unassuming. She appears to be as delicate and fragile as a butterfly, but that appearance belies great strength and resolve. She was only 22 years old in 1991 when sentenced to ten years in a Burma prison. Her crime: speaking out publicly for human rights.

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  • A Cause Worth Following: Pinar Selek
    A Cause Worth Following: Help Pinar Selek

    The Turkish writer and sociologist Pinar Selek, born in 1971, presently a scholar in the Writers-in-Exile program of German P.E.N., is a passionate advocate for the rights of different kinds of minorities, such as socially disadvantaged children, but she also defends the civil rights of ethnic minorities like Kurds and Armenians.

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