via ArabLit: Ahead of the expected verdict for imprisoned Egyptian poet Galal El-Behairy, ArabLit — like PEN centers around the world — is sharing a work El-Behairy wrote in prison: El-Behairy was arrested more than three months ago, on March 3, 2018, on charges related to his most recent book of poems, خير نسوان الأرض, The Finest Women on Earth (2018) and lyrics he wrote for Ramy Essam’s song “Balaha.” A campaign against him … Read more Poet Galal El-Behairy’s ‘Letter from Tora Prison’
February 3, 2018 “Not Enough!” MANY YEARS ago, right after the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, I was asked to write a book about the events. Rachel took the photos, I wrote the text. The book, which appeared only in Hebrew, was called “Lenin Does Not Live Here Anymore”. When we visited Warsaw, we were astonished by the many places in the city with metal plates announcing “(Name) … Read more Uri Avnery on the Polish Question
Via the always excellent Arab Literature (in English): BY MLYNXQUALEY on JANUARY 6, 2015 • ( 2 ) Palestinian poet and artist Ashraf Fayadh was arrested by Saudi authorities on January 1, 2014 — charged with “insulting the Godly self and having long hair” — and has yet to face trial: For the last year, Fayadh has been detained in the Saudi city of Abha without clear legal charges beyond having “ideas that … Read more One Year Without Charges: Poet Ashraf Fayadh
via Jadaliyya When Your Name is on the Blacklist Sep 30 2014 by Amjad Nasser أمجد ناصر [The cover of Amjad Nasser’s novel, “Land of no Rain.” Image from Bloomsbury] [The Gallatin School of New York University invited Amjad Nasser, one of the major poets of the Arab world, to inaugurate its Gallatin Global Writers series on 30 September. On 27 September, US Homeland Security at Heathrow, London, interrogated Nasser and … Read more Poet Amjad Nasser Refused Entry into the U.S.
via The Electronic Intifada: The New York Times agrees to be gagged by Israel Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Fri, 04/18/2014 – 15:17 Majd Kayyal was arrested and held incommunicado by Israel’s Shin Bet. Margaret Sullivan, The New York Times’ public editor, has written a thoughtful and important piece criticizing the way the newspaper complied with an Israeli-imposed gag order on the case of Majd Kayyal. But it leaves some important questions unanswered about … Read more The NYT & Israel’s Gag Order
Once again from the Arabic Literature (in English) website: Poetry, ‘A More Serious Crime Than Murder’ BY MLYNXQUALEY on FEBRUARY 11, 2014 • ( 1 ) It hasn’t been a good few weeks for Arabic-writing poets. In Qatar, Muhammad al-Ajami remains in prison. In Iran, poet Hashem Shaabani, who published both in Persian and in Arabic, was executed for being an enemy of God and the state, according to rights groups. In Egypt, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information … Read more Poetry, ‘A More Serious Crime Than Murder’
The Luxembourg writer Lambert Schlechter has been writing to the Russian ambassador & to the media in Luxembourg & beyond to try & put pressure on the Russian government in relation to the latter’s Stalinist behavior regarding the Pussy Riot group of protesters & more specifically Nadezhda Tolokonnikova. Below, the second of his Open Letters: Banishing Human Rights to Siberia Second OPEN LETTER To His Excellency Dr Mark Entin, ambassador … Read more Open Letter re Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova
Chilling Effects PUBLISHED by PEN AMERICAN CENTER on November 11, 2013 NSA Surveillance Drives U.S. Writers to Self-Censor In the human rights and free expression communities, it is a widely shared assumption that the explosive growth and proliferating uses of surveillance technologies must be harmful—to intellectual freedom, to creativity, and to social discourse. But how exactly do we know, and how can we demonstrate, that pervasive surveillance is harming … Read more NSA Surveillance & US Writers
Last night we went with old friend Jean Cormier (author of several books & videos on the Che, among many other writings) to Ivry (one of the last communist held suburbs of Paris) to catch a play in remembrance of 11 September 1973, the day the democratically elected government of Chili was overthrown by a CIA initiated coup, in which President Salvador Allende died & General Pinochet came to … Read more The Other 9/11 — Forty Years Already!