dec 042015
 

PEN International er dybt bekymret over tilbageholdelsen af ​​Can Dündar, chefredaktør på den tyrkisk avis Cumhuriyet, og hans kollega Erdem Gül, der er chef på avisens Ankara-redaktion. De to blev afholdt den 26. november, anklaget for spionage og andre lovovertrædelser under henvisning til national sikkerhed.

I juni 2015 anmeldte præsident Recep Tayyip Erdogan Can Dündar og Erdem Gül for i maj måned at have offentliggjort en video, og bragt en nyhedshistorie med fotografisk dokumentation for, at den tyrkiske efterretningstjeneste har leveret våben til islamistiske grupper i Syrien. I anklagen beskyldtes Dündar for forsøg på manipulation med fabrikeret materiale og for at offentliggøre fortrolige oplysninger. Den maksimale straf for denne form for forbrydelse er livsvarigt fængsel.

International PEN opfordrer de tyrkiske myndigheder til øjeblikkeligt og betingelsesløst at løslade de to journalister og til at droppe alle anklager mod Dündar for hans legitime ret til at virke som journalist og politisk kommentator.Can Dünar.

dec 022015
 

We, members of the Danish Parliament, have written this letter to voice our deepest concerns about the conviction of two Saudi nationals; Raif Badawi and Waleed Abu al-Khair.

We believe that Raif Badawi and Waleed Abu al-Khair have been wrongfully imprisoned while merely using their inalienable right to freedom of expression and that the charges against them should be dropped.

Raif Badawi was in May 2014 sentenced to 10 years in prison, 1.000 lashes, a 10 year travel ban, a fine and a ban on appearing on media outlets. We believe that Raif Badawi should be released immediately, that all charges against him should be dropped and that the authorities should refrain from carrying out the remaining flogging punishment.

Waleed Abu al-Khair, a prominent lawyer, was in July 2014 sentenced to 15 years in jail, followed by a 15-year travel ban and a fine. He is the first human rights defender sentenced as a "terrorist" under the new counter-terror law. We believe that Waleed Abu al-Khair should be released immediately and unconditionally and that all charges against him should be dropped.

We are determined to keep our focus on this important matter and hope that Saudi Arabia will live up to your responsibility under international human rights law.

Sincerely,

Carolina Maier

Christian Juhl

Christian Poll

Eva Flyvholm

Finn Sørensen

Henning Hyllested

Jacob Mark

Jakob Sølvhøj

Jesper Kiel

Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen

Josephine Fock

Martin Lidegaard

Mette Bock

Michael Aastrup Jensen

Nikolaj Amstrup

Nikolaj Villumsen

Pelle Dragsted

Pernille Skipper

Rasmus Nordqvist

Rasmus Vestergaard Madsen

René Gade

Stine Brix

Søren Søndergaard

Torsten Gejl

Uffe Elbæk

Ulla M Sandbæk

 

dec 022015
 

En bred vifte af folketingspolitikere opfordrer med deres underskrift på et brev fra Amnesty og Dansk PEN Saudi-Arabien til at frigive to menneskerettighedsforkæmpere, der er blevet idømt langvarige fængselsstraffe.

26 danske folketingspolitikere fra en bred vifte af partier har skrevet under på et brev til Saudi-Arabiens konge, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, for at vise deres bekymring over landets grove krænkelser af menneskerettighederne. I det åbne brev, der er udformet af Amnesty og Dansk PEN, opfordrer de danske politikere Saudi-Arabien til straks at løslade bloggeren Raif Badawi og advokaten Waleed Abu al-Khair, der begge er idømt langvarige fængselsstraffe for at bruge deres ytringsfrihed. De to mænd er blevet symboler på de adskillige overgreb, som myndighederne begår mod menneskerettighedsforkæmpere og aktivister i Saudi-Arabien, hvor kritikere af styret siden begyndelsen af 2013 enten er blevet fængslet eller truet til stilhed. Siden Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud tiltrådte som konge i januar 2015, er der desuden sket en voldsom stigning i antallet af henrettelser. I hele 2014 blev der henrettet 90 mennesker i Saudi-Arabien, mens 137 mennesker er blevet henrettet alene fra januar og frem til oktober 2015. Retssager foregår typisk i hemmelighed, og de anklagede bliver ofte nægtet adgang til advokatbistand. Herudover bruges ’tilståelser’ fremkommet under tortur eller under trusler om tortur i retssager, og selv mindreårige bliver idømt dødsstraf i klar strid med FN’s Børnekonvention.

Brevet til Saudi-Arabiens konge er inspireret af blandt andet Canadas og Sveriges parlamentariske forsamlingers støtteerklæringer til Raif Badawi samt Folketingets eget brev fra den 4. september 2012 til kongen af Bahrain omhandlende Abdulhadi al-Khawaja og Zainab al-Khawaja.

Følgende folketingspolitikere har skrevet under:

Carolina Maier, Christian Juhl, Christian Poll, Eva Flyvholm, Finn Sørensen, Henning Hyllested, Jacob Mark, Jakob Sølvhøj, Jesper Kiel, Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen, Josephine Fock, Martin Lidegaard, Mette Bock, Michael Aastrup Jensen, Nikolaj Amstrup, Nikolaj Villumsen, Pelle Dragsted, Pernille Skipper, Rasmus Nordqvist, Rasmus Vestergaard Madsen, René Gade, Stine Brix, Søren Søndergaard, Torsten Gejl, Uffe Elbæk, Ulla M Sandbæk 

Yderligere information

Kontakt venligst:

Pressemedarbejder Roberto Zacharias, Amnesty, 29 61 44 86.

Politisk rådgiver Cecilie Gregersen Nielsen, Amnesty, 33 45 65 61.

Daglig leder Mille Rode, Dansk PEN, 40 45 44 19.

 

 

nov 272015
 

We, poets and writers from around the world, are appalled that the Saudi Arabian authorities have sentenced Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh to death for apostasy.

It is not a crime to hold an idea, however unpopular, nor is it a crime to express opinion peacefully. Every individual has the freedom to believe or not believe. Freedom of conscience is an essential human right.

The death sentence against Fayadh is the latest example of the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia’s lack of tolerance for freedom of expression and ongoing persecution of free thinkers. We, Fayadh’s fellow poets and writers, urge the Saudi authorities to desist from punishing individuals for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression and call for his immediate and unconditional release.

As a member of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), the pre-eminent intergovernmental body tasked with protecting and promoting human rights, and the newly elected Chair of the HRC’s Consultative Group, Saudi Arabia purports to uphold and respect the highest standards of human rights. However the decision of the court is a clear violation of the internationally recognised rights to freedom of conscience and expression. Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) states that, ‘[e]veryone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief’. Furthermore, under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ‘[e]veryone 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’. Saudi Arabia is therefore in absolute contravention of the rights that as a member of the UN HRC it has committed to protect.

We, Fayadh’s fellow poets and writers, urge the Saudi authorities to desist from punishing individuals for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression and call for his immediate and unconditional release.

PEN_INTERNATIONAL_LOGO_BLACK

nov 252015
 

PEN International er chokeret over dommen over den palæstinensiske digter Asraf Fayadh, der den 17. november blev dømt til døden i Abda, Saudi-Arabien.

Dommen lyder på apostasi (frafald fra islam) og indeholder foruden dødsdommen også en dom på 800 piskeslag.

Asraf Fayadh har i følge PENs oplysninger hverken udøvet eller opfordret til vold,  men udelukkende gjort brug af sin ret til ytrings- og trosfrihed.

ashraf fayadh

http://monakareem.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/ashraf-fayadhs-disputed-poems-in.html?spref=tw

 

okt 212015
 

PEN International protesterer på det skarpeste mod den hårde dom over  to iranske digtere, Fatemeh Ekhtesari og Mehdi Moosavi.

Fatemeh Ekhtesari og Mehdi Moosavi blev den 12. oktober 2015 idømt henholdsvis 11 1/2 og ni års fængsel, for at  "fornærme helligdommene". De blev også dømt til 99 piskeslag hver for at have dyrket "ulovlige forbindelser". De to digtere har mulighed for at anke dommen og er i øjeblikket på fri fod.

International PEN opfordrer de iranske myndigheder til at omstøde straffen.

Del gerne på FaceBook, Twitter og andre sociale medier.

sep 142015
 

Dansk PEN glæder sig over at København nu, på opfordring fra De Konservative, genindtræder i fribyordningen under ICORN (International Cities of Refuge Network), og igen kan invitere en udenlandsk forfatter, journalist eller andre, hvis ytringsfrihed krænkes til i en periode at opholde sig i København.

Det lykkedes i fredags De Konservative at få skrevet fribyordningen ind i Budgetaftalen igen, efter at København i december 2014 meldte sig ud af ordningen.

Der afsættes således en halv million kroner i 2016 og et tilsvarende beløb i 2017, samt 0,3 mio. kroner i 2018.

København har tidligere været fribyvært for den forfulgte irakiske forfatter og kulturkritiker Suhail Sami Nader, der i 2014 fik asyl i Danmark.

Det var et samlet flertal i Folketinget der i 2009 vedtog Fribyordningen, og siden har i alt seks skribenter været på fribyophold i henholdsvis på Frederiksberg og Fanø, i Aarhus og Odense, foruden København.

Frederiksberg og Odense har siden meldt sig ud af ordningen under henvisning til, at de ikke havde råd og hellere ville bruge pengene på andre initiativer. På Fanø har man foreløbig sat ordningen på pause mens man i Aarhus har holdt ytringsfrihedsfanen højt og i marts 2014 bød sin anden fribyforfatter velkommen, den iranske digter, oversætter og kritiker Omid Shams Gakieh.

ICORN er den organisation der koordinerer og sikrer kontakten mellem de mere end 40 fribyer der er med i netværket verden over, og de skribenter, som søger et midlertidigt ophold på grund af forfølgelse.

 

 

 

sep 102015
 

Dansk PEN deler Journalistforbundets bekymring over, at Politiken-fotografen Martin Lehmann er blevet anholdt af Syd- og Sønderjyllands Politi under udførelsen af sit arbejde.
Fotografen har tilsyneladende passet sit arbejde med at dokumentere en helt usædvanlig begivenhed i form af flygtninge, der går mod nord ad den sønderjyske motorvej, i lighed med hvad en række medier har gjort de seneste dage.
"Derfor er det helt usædvanligt, at en fotograf bliver anholdt mens han passer sit arbejde på et offentligt tilgængeligt sted i en vigtig sag. Politiets reaktion er dybt problematisk og ganske ude af proportion", udtaler PENs formandsskab, præsident Per Øhrgaard og vicepræsident Kristina Stoltz.

jun 092015
 

International PEN:Dansk PEN protesterer mod Saudi-Arabiens højesterets stadfæstelse af dommen over Raif Badawi.

Dansk PEN er dybt rystede over nyheden om, at Saudi Arabisens højesteret har stadfæstet den groteske dom over den saudiske redaktør og blogger Raif Badawi. Vi opfordrer nu kong Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud til ufortøvet at benåde Badawio-RAIF-BADAWI-facebook Badawi blev i april 2014 idømt ti års fængsel, en bøde på 1,6 mio. dollars, ti års tab af civile rettigheder samt 1000 stokkeslag, eksekveret hver uge på en offentlig plads efter fredagsbønnen, med 50 slag ad gangen. Badawi blev fængslet i 2012, anklaget for at have fornærmet islam og for at have etableret en hjemmeside, hvorfra han opfordrede til dannelse af et netværk for kritisk tænkning. Dansk PEN mener at dommen over Badawi er en klar krænkelse af hans ytringsfrihed. Den 9. januar 2015 modtog Raif Badawi de første 50 stokkeslag. Det medførte en bred international fordømmelse og siden da er stokkeslagene blevet midlertidigt udsat.

Dansk PEN har siden januar demonstreret hver torsdag, sammen med Amnesty Internationals danske afdeling, foran den Saudi Arabiske ambassade i København. Vi har desuden, ligeledes sammen med Amnesty, skrevet gentagende gange til den saudiske konge og til landets ambassadør i Danmark i protest mod dommen over Badawi og hans advokat Waleed Abu al-Khair, der er idømt 15 års fængsel for at forsvare sin klient. Vi har skrevet til den danske udenrigsminister og til Danmarks repræsentation i Geneve i håb om, at de ville rejse sagen overfor de saudiske myndigheder. Foreløbig er intet sket.

Det er skuffende og dybt foruroligende, at domstolen har valgt at fastholde dommen over Raif Badawi. Hans tekster og protester har hele vejen igennem været fredelige og han har blot gjort brug af sin ret til at tænke og tale frit, som den er udtrykt i FNs menneskerettighedserklæring. Dommen er ude af proportioner og må opfattes som statuering af et eksempel, der har til hensigt at skræmme enhver politisk eller kulturel opposition i landet.

Dansk PEN har skrevet til Kong Salman og appelleret til, at han går ind i denne sag og sikrer, at Raif Badawi ikke udsættes for yderligere stokkeslag, samt at han benytter sig af sin mulighed for at få Raif Badawi og Waleed Abu al-Khair frigivet. Vi opfordrer desuden den danske regering til at følge Sveriges eksempel. Regeringen bør klart og utvetydigt protestere mod dommen overfor de saudiske myndigheder, samt i lyset af Saudi-Arabiens massive krænkelser af menneskerettighederne, tage de danske relationer til landet op til fornyet overvejelse.

Raif Badawi er æresmedlem af Dansk PEN.

Demonstration ved ambassaden hver torsdag ml. 16.30 og 17.00

Sammen med Amnesty Internationals danske afdeling har medlemmer af Dansk PEN siden januar demonstreret foran den Saudi Arabiske ambassade hver torsdag kl. 16.30 til 17.00. Med søndagens afgørelse er disse protester, der foregår verden over, blot blevet vigtigere.

Ambassadens adresse er Omøgade 8, på Østerbro I København.

Vi håber at rigtig mange vil være med til at protestere nu på torsdag, den 11. juni. Og alle de følgende torsdage. Man er også meget velkommen til at sende en skriftlig protest til ambassaden.

International PEN's RAPID ACTION 08 June 20 / Update #8 to RAN 02/13 

Saudi Arabia: Supreme Court confirms sentence of editor Raif Badawi  On 7 June 2015, the Saudi Supreme Court confirmed the sentence of 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes imposed on editor Raif (or Raef) Badawi after conviction of “insulting Islam” and “founding a liberal website.” The 7 June 2015 decision of the Supreme Court is final. Badawi received the first 50 of 1,000 lashes in January 2015, however all subsequent sessions scheduled to take place weekly have been postponed.

PEN International continues to call for Badawi’s conviction to be overturned and for him to be released immediately and unconditionally and for his sentence of flogging to be halted immediately, as it violates the absolute prohibition in international law against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

PEN International also reiterates its call for the release of Badawi’s lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair, who is serving a 15-year prison sentence in connection with his peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression.

For extracts of Raif Badawi’s writings in English and Arabic click here 

TAKE ACTION: Share on FaceBook, Twitter and other social media Please send appeals: 〈         Urging the Saudi Arabian authorities to release Raif Badawi and his lawyer Walid Abu al-Khair immediately and unconditionally as they are being held solely for their peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression;

〈         Calling for Raif Badawi’s sentence of flogging to be overturned immediately as it violates the absolute prohibition in international law against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;

〈         In the meantime, calling for both men to be granted all necessary medical treatment and access to their families and lawyers of their choice;

〈         Calling on Saudi Arabia to ratify, without reservation, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Appeals to be sent to:

His Majesty King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al SaudThe Custodian of the two Holy MosquesOffice of His Majesty the KingRoyal Court, RiyadhKingdom of Saudi Arabia

Fax: (via Ministry of the Interior) +966 1 403 3125

Salutation: Your Majesty

Crown Prince and Minister of the InteriorHis Royal Highness Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz Al SaudMinistry of the Interior

P.O.Box 2933,

Airport Road, Riyadh 11134

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Fax: +966 1 403 3125

Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister of JusticeHis Excellency Shaykh Dr Mohammed bin Abdulkareem Al-Issa Ministry of Justice, University Street Riyadh 11137 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Fax: + 966 1 401 1741 + 966 11 402 0311 Salutation: Your Excellency

Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative for Saudi Arabia in your country if possible.

***Please send appeals immediately. Check with PEN International if sending appeals after 08 July 2015. Please send us copies of any appeals you send and of any responses you receive***

Background Raef Badawi was arrested on 17 June 2012 in Jeddah after organising a conference to mark a “day of liberalism”. The conference, which was to have taken place in Jeddah on 7 May, was banned by the authorities. On 29 July 2013, a court in Jeddah sentenced Badawi to seven years and three months in prison and 600 lashes after he was convicted under the information technology law of “founding a liberal website,” “adopting liberal thought” and for “insulting Islam”. The online forum, Liberal Saudi Network - created to foster political and social debate in Saudi Arabia - was ordered closed by the judge. According to reports, the appeal, submitted by Badawi’s lawyer, Walid Abu al-Khair, cited procedural and evidential reasons why the conviction should be overturned and Badawi should be freed.

In December 2013, it was reported that the Court of Appeal had reversed the ruling of the District Court in Jeddah, ordering that Badawi’s case be sent for review by another court. Badawi, who suffers from diabetes, is reported to be in poor health. On 7 May 2014, Jeddah’s Criminal Court sentenced Badawi to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes and a fine of 1 million Saudi riyals (approx. US$266,631) on charges of ‘insulting Islam’ and ‘founding a liberal website.’ According to PEN’s information, when Badawi appeared in court to collect a written account of the verdict on 28 May 2014 he discovered the insertion of two additional penalties: a 10-year travel ban and 10-year ban from participating in visual, electronic and written media, both to be applied following his release.

For more information about his case, please read PEN’s interview with his wife Ensaf Haidar here.

According to the Centre For Inquiry (CFI), in an article dated 17 September 2014, the Saudi appeals court in Mecca confirmed the sentence against Badawi, and ordered that the lashes should be administered 50 at the time, in public, every week after Friday Prayers. The first 50 lashes were given outside al-Jafali mosque in the port city of Jeddah on 9 January 2015. The following week, the authorities postponed Badawi’s flogging on medical grounds after a doctor said wounds from the previous lashing had not healed.

On 16 January 2015 his wife Ensaf Haider, who lives in Canada with the couple’s three young children, said that King Abdullah had referred the case to the Supreme Court. On 1 March, Ensaf Haider said that she had received information that Badawi could face the death penalty.  The same day, his family posted the following information on Facebook: ‘We … received confirmed information that the Supreme Court has referred Raif case to the same judge, who sentenced Raif with flogging and 10 years imprisonment. This judge is biased against Raif. He has twice requested that Raif be charged with ‘apostasy’.

His request was declined at the time on the ground that the Criminal court has no jurisdiction on cases that lead to death penalty. However, due to a new regulation issued by the Supreme Judicial Council on 19.09.2014, the Penal court has now jurisdiction over major cases, which are punishable by the death penalty, amputation and stoning. We have reasons to believe without any doubts that the same judge has again asked the Head of the Court of Apeal [sic] to charge Raif with ‘Apostasy’. It should be mentioned that this judge stated in his written verdict against Raif, that he has proof and is confident that Raif is an apostate'

On 7 June 2015, the Supreme Court confirmed Badawi’s sentence of 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes, as well as a 10-year travel ban following his release.

PEN International is also calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Badawi’s lawyer, Waleed Abu Al-Khair who was arrested on 15 April 2014. Waleed Abu Al-Khair is a lawyer, human rights activist and founding member of the Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia (MHRSA) who has also written many articles.

On 4 February 2014, the Court of Appeal confirmed a three-month sentence against Abu Al-Khair imposed after he had been convicted of contempt of the judiciary. According to PEN’s information, Abu Al-Khair was arrested at the Specialised Criminal Court in Riyadh while he attended the fifth session of his trial for other charges made against him in 2013, which include: “breaking allegiance to and disobeying the ruler and disrespecting the authorities”, “offending the judiciary”, “inciting international organisations against the Kingdom” and “founding an unlicensed organization” (Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia), and supervising it and contributing to the establishment of another (the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association - ACPRA); and “preparing, storing and sending material harmful to public order”. Initially held in Al Hair prison, where there were concerns that he may have been subjected to ill-treatment, Abu al-Khair was transferred on 27 May 2014 to Briman prison in Jeddah.

On 6 July 2014, the Specialized Criminal Court, Saudi Arabia’s terrorism tribunal, sentenced him to 10 years’ actual imprisonment, with another five years’ imprisonment which were suspended, a 15-year ban on travel abroad, and a fine of 200,000 Saudi Riyals (equivalent to approximately US$53,000) on a number of broad and vaguely worded charges that are believed to stem solely from his peaceful activism, including comments to news outlets and on Twitter criticizing Saudi human rights violations. On 11 August 2014 he was moved again to al-Malaz prison in Riyadh, over 960 kilometers from his family in Jeddah The Public Prosecutor appealed the sentence at the Court of Appeal in Riyadh, which on 15 January 2015 ruled that he should serve the entire 15-year sentence in prison, on the grounds that he had not shown any contrition for his “offence”. According to MHRSA, Abu al-Khair refused to recognize the legitimacy of the court or defend himself against the charges. He also refused to sign a copy of the trial judgment or to appeal the conviction or his sentence. MHRSA stated on 12 August 2014 that it believes his prison transfers are a punitive measure for Abu al-Khair’s refusal to recognize the court.

Abu Al-Khair is the recipient of the 2012 Olof Palme Prize. Under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ‘[e]veryone 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’. Criminalisation of the peaceful criticism of public officials and institutions violates international human rights law. Corporal punishment such as flogging also violates the absolute prohibition under international law of all forms of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Article 18 of the UDHR states that, ‘[e]veryone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief’.

For further information, please contact Cathy McCann at PEN International, Brownlow House, 50/51 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6ER, Tel.: +44 (0) 20 7405 0338, Fax: +44 (0) 20 7405 0339, Email: cathy.mccann@pen-international.org 

Dansk PEN støtter international erklæring

 Nyt fra Dansk PEN  Kommentarer lukket til Dansk PEN støtter international erklæring
maj 052015
 

I anledning af ”World Press Freedom Day” den 3. maj kræver PEN International og over 50 organisationer bedre beskyttelse af ytringsfriheden.

Erklæringen opfordrer alle regeringer til at overholde deres internationale forpligtelser til ”at forsvare retten til at udtrykke synspunkter, som vi og andre kan finde problematiske eller endog krænkende”. Erklæringen kommer 116 dage efter angrebet på Charlie Hebdo, men de mange organisationer understreger, at den største trussel mod ytringsfriheden og journalisters sikkerhed stadig kommer fra regeringer, ikke fra enkeltpersoner, som er motiveret af en ideologi. Organisationerne fremhæver desuden, at flere lande, bl.a. Rusland, Tyrkiet, Senegal, Indien, Kenya, Egypten og andre, har ”brugt” angrebet i Paris til at fremme overvågningen af os alle.

Erklæringen er bl.a. underskrevet af Dansk PEN og de øvrige nordiske PEN-centre.

Den fulde ordlyd af erklæringen kan læses her