Category Archives: Freedom of Speech

COVID-19 as Weapon

It has not taken long for authoritarian regimes to turn Covid 19 into a weapon. In Turkey, for example, thousands of people who were imprisoned for criminal offences including rape and murder have been released because of the risk of … Continue reading

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Truth in the Dark (Nurcan Baysal)

Nurcan Baysal is a journalist and an award-winning human rights activist based in Diyarbakir, Turkey. She has been arrested and detained repeatedly for her writing about Turkish Kurdistan and for tweets she has posted concerning military assaults on the Kurdish … Continue reading

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PHILIPPE SANDS and DANIEL GORMAN speak to English PEN

On 6th May, a Zoom meeting for members of English PEN heard Daniel Gorman (Director) and Philippe Sands (President) in conversation. The primary focus of the discussion was on Human Rights in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, but they … Continue reading

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Life in Direct Provision Centres

Ireland’s system of Direct Provision for asylum seekers was only ever meant to be temporary in the lives of the people who are housed within it but many people find themselves trapped there for years. Twenty years after its inception, … Continue reading

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Imprisoned Voices: A Hearing

Today is PEN International’s Day of the Imprisoned Writer. Last night, the Freedom to Write Campaign held a poetry reading in the brilliant Parnell Square premises of Poetry Ireland, who were supporting the event, as was Irish PEN. The format … Continue reading

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Writers Under Threat: Nurcan Baysal, Daphne Caruana Galizia

  Last Wednesday I was at a moving, powerful vigil for murdered Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Many people spoke about Daphne’s life and read from her work. She had been a consistent campaigner against corruption and collusion throughout her … Continue reading

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POETRY MEMORIAL FOR DAPHNE CARUANA GALIZIA – Call for poems

It’s hard to believe that almost two years have passed since the Maltese anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered, but 16th October will mark the second anniversary of her death.  A fierce critic of the political establishment in Malta, … Continue reading

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CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: Wednesday March 6th @ Toner’s (Baggot Street) at 7:30 pm

Here’s a small break in tradition: this blog doesn’t usually advertise events in advance (or ever) – but this event is different. The Freedom to Write Campaign group is organising an (almost) International Women’s Day Reading, hosted by Staccato Literary … Continue reading

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DAPHNE CARUANA GALIZIA: London Vigil

One year ago today, Daphne Caruana Galizia, a Maltese journalist who exposed corruption and criticized the Maltese political establishment, was assassinated. She had received several death threats; fires had been set near her home; her dog had been killed. She … Continue reading

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On Censorship, Iranian Film & Saudi Blogging

(A version of this piece was broadcast on Arena on 18th Feb):  http://www.rte.ie/radio/utils/radioplayer/rteradioweb.html#!rii=9%3A20731200%3A1526%3A18%2D02%2D2015%3A Recently I saw an Iranian film by Mohammad Rasoulof: Manuscripts Don’t Burn. It tells a creepy, absorbing story about censorship and corruption impinging on the lives of dissident writers in … Continue reading

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