As part of its "Imprisoned Writer" campaign

PEN International demands the immediate release of Dr. Muhammad Al-Roken

19 Nov 2021
PEN International demands the immediate release of Dr. Muhammad Al-Roken

The London-based organization PEN International calls on the authorities of the United Arab Emirates to unconditionally release the detainee Dr. Muhammad Al-Roken, to drop all charges against him and to ensure that he communicates regularly with his family and lawyer until his release, as well as to provide him with adequate natural care and protection from torture and other cruel and inhuman treatment.

The organization included Al-Roken in its "Day of the Imprisoned Writer" campaign, which highlights the causes of writers who are imprisoned or on trial, because his case epitomizes the authoritarian nature of the regime in the UAE and highlights the difficult situation of freedom of expression in the country.

Today, Friday 19 November, the campaign was all about Al-Roken. The organization called on its members to participate in the "Tweeting Storm" it is organizing in support of Al-Roken between 3pm and 4pm (GMT) on Twitter.

Since 1981, PEN International has proclaimed Imprisoned Writer's Day every year on November 15 to raise awareness about the fate of imprisoned or persecuted writers. This campaign, which spans four days, also commemorates those who have died while exercising their right to freedom of expression.

The Writers-in-Prison Committee of PEN International in London has painted a grim picture of the state of freedom of expression. In addition to new cases, this year's statistics also list the fates of acutely threatened writers who have been subjected to judicial arbitrariness for decades.