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Press Release

Media Advisory: PEN Protesta! Writers to Denounce Violence Against Journalists at Major Event on Sunday

Canada NewsWire

World's Leading Authors Endorse Event, Call for Justice for Murdered Colleagues in El Universal Ad

*** PEN Delegation to Hold Press Conference Monday ***

TORONTO, Jan. 27, 2012 /CNW/ -

WHAT:     
PEN International and the PEN Club de México present "PEN Protesta! In Support of Journalists and Freedom of Expression," a public demonstration of solidarity and a demand for accountability for the murders and disappearances of journalists in Mexico. John Ralston Saul, Russell Banks, Gillian Slovo, Takeaki Hori, and six other members of a delegation representing PEN's global membership will stand side-by-side with Elena Poniatowska, Javier Sicilia, Jennifer Clement, and dozens of Mexican writers and journalists and declare their support for a free press and freedom of expression in Mexico. The event represents an unprecedented show of support from the international literary community in recognition of the courage and endurance of their Mexican colleagues.

In association with the event, PEN today published a full-page ad in El Universal signed by 170 of the world's leading writers declaring solidarity with Mexican writers and journalists. Nobel Prize laureates J. M. Coetzee, Nadine Gordimer, Toni Morrison, Orhan Pamuk, Wole Soyinka, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Derek Walcott joined Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie, Jonathan Franzen, Claribel Alegría, Bei Dao, Victor Erofeyev, Ariel Dorfman, A.B. Yehoshua, Hanif Kureishi, Leonard Cohen, and scores of other international literary luminaries in demanding prosecutions of those responsible for murdering journalists.

WHEN:    
January 29, 2012, 12:00 p.m.

WHERE:    
Casa Lamm, Alvaro Obregon No 99, Colonia Roma, Mexico D.F.

*** PRESS CONFERENCE WITH PEN INTERNATIONAL DELEGATION ***
January 30, 2012
Mexico City Press Club, Filomeno Mata 8, Col. Centro, Mexico City

Members of the press are cordially invited to attend a press conference with the PEN International delegation at the Mexico City Press Club at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, January 30, 2012. The delegation will offer comments on the situation in Mexico, report on a series of meetings with government and diplomatic officials and colleague organizations, and share PEN's recommendations. Press RSVPs to Alicia Quiñones, penpress.mex@gmail.com; +52 55 42322179, +52 55 15803002

PEN Protesta! In Support of Journalists and Freedom of Expression

Between 2000 and 2011, criminal organizations have murdered more than 67 journalists in Mexico. In recent months, these groups have killed 15 journalists, "disappeared" three, and attacked the facilities of 19 newspapers and media outlets with firearms and explosives, according to statistics released by the organization Article 19 in October 2011. As an international literary organization dedicated to the protection of writers and the defense of freedom of expression, PEN has condemned these killings and called for an end to impunity for those who carry out attacks on media workers in Mexico. At "PEN Protesta," delegates representing PEN's distinguished global membership of writers lend their voices to the growing national chorus demanding effective protections for members of the Mexican press. This event is made possible in part by the generous sponsorship of the Knight Foundation.

Note to Editors
PEN International celebrates literature and promotes freedom of expression. Founded in 1921, our global community of writers now comprises 144 Centers spanning more than 100 countries. Our programs, campaigns, events and publications connect writers and readers for global solidarity and cooperation. PEN International is a non-political organization and holds consultative status at the United Nations and UNESCO. www.pen-international.org. For more information and to request interviews please contact our press office, penoffice@pen-international.org | press@pen-international.org | +44 (0) 20 7405 0338, or contact Laura McVeigh, Executive Director, at  laura.mcveigh@pen-international.org | +44 (0) 780 24640527

PEN Canada is an active member of PEN International.

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