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Magazine

Imprisoned Voices: Giving Voice to Imprisoned Writers

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Article by Writing IE Admin © 5 November 2019 Writing.ie .
Posted in the Magazine ( · News for Writers ).

The words of writers serving out their sentences in prison cells throughout the world will be heard on the 14th November at Poetry Ireland when a group of Irish writers come together to give voice to their imprisoned colleagues. This special evening of poetry and music, entitled Imprisoned Voices – A Hearing, has been organised by the Freedom to Write Campaign (Ireland) to mark the Day of the Imprisoned Writer.

Irish poets, Celia de Fréine, Colm Keegan, Chris Murray and Maria McManus will read the poetry of Galal el-Behairy (Egypt), Chimengul Awut (China), Dawit Isaac (Eritrea) and Nedim Türfent (Turkey). They also read from their own collections and writers June Considine, Catherine Dunne, Kate Ennals, Anthony Glavin, Liz McManus and Lia Mills will also add their voices to the stories of the evening. Eamonn Sweeney and Cormac Breatnach will be performing on classical guitar and flute.

Starting time is 6.30 pm. and admission is free. All are welcome to un-silence the silenced and pay tribute to those who risk their lives to write about injustice.

The Freedom to Write Campaign (Ireland) is an independent group of writers who work to promote Freedom of Expression by raising public awareness about the plight of writers at risk or in prison, or who have been murdered because of their writing.

Imprisoned Voices – A Hearing has been organised in conjunction with Irish PEN and Poetry Ireland.

Venue: Poetry Ireland, 11 Parnell Square E, Rotunda, Dublin 1. Date 14th November 2019. https://www.poetryireland.ie/whats-on/giving-voice-to-imprisoned-writers

Additional information on the imprisoned writers;

In a letter written from his prison cell in Turkey to the Freedom to Write Campaign (Ireland) the journalist and poet Nedim Türfent stated, ‘…the government claims that “there are no journalists in prisons” However, the court who convicted me declared the opposite. In the justification of my sentence, I am accused of “making disturbing news.” He was arrested in 2016 after covering clashes between the Turkish army and the armed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, and is currently serving a sentence of eight years and nine months.  https://pen-international.org/news/turkey-free-nedim-turfent

Chimengül Awut a renowned Uyghur poet was reportedly arrested in July 2018 and sent to a Chinese political re-education camp in July 2018 for her involvement in editing Golden Shoes, a novel by the writer, Halide Isra’il. She was working as a senior editor at Kashgar Publishing House at the time of her arrest.

Dawit Isaak, an award-winning Swedish-Eritrean journalist and writer, has been held incommunicado in Eritrea for over 17 years.  It is still unknown whether charges have been brought against him or even if any trial has taken place, and there is little official information of his whereabouts and well-being.  https://pen-international.org/news/day-of-the-imprisoned-writer-2018-take-action-for-dawit-isaak

Poet, lyricist and activist Galal El-Behairy is currently serving a three-year prison sentence for ‘insulting the military’ and ‘spreading false news.’ This charge relates to his latest book of poetry, ‘The Finest Women on Earth’. He also faces additional charges for writing the lyrics of a song and was arrested, beaten and tortured after its release. https://pen-international.org/news/day-of-the-imprisoned-writer-2019-galal-el-behairy