PEN group not allowed to show support for jailed authors in front of Silivri Prison

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Photo credit: Cumhuriyet daily

A large group of PEN international members was stopped on their way to Silivri Prison on Thursday where they wanted to deliver a message of support for Turkey’s jailed authors.

The Cumhuriyet daily reported that the delegation was not allowed to reach the prison gate or read a statement showing solidarity with intellectuals who are under a severe crackdown in Turkey.

After the gendarmerie stopped the delegation, the protesters were forced to delete the footage of the intervention due to a ban on taking photographs under a state of emergency currently in force in Turkey.

A statement by PEN President Jennifer Clement was also interrupted. Following the prevention of the solidarity event, PEN shared a message on its Twitter account telling Turkey’s imprisoned writers that world writers say to them, “You are not alone.”

The PEN statement said that almost 150 authors and journalists have been left helpless behind bars in Turkey.

A report published on Thursday by new advocacy group the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) revealed that 191 journalists are in jail, 92 are wanted and 839 have been charged in Turkey.

SCF has documented the individual cases of 191 journalists who are either convicted and serving time in prison or jailed in pre-trial detention.

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