[Local events] FWD: Wed. 12/10, International Writers in Prison, free presentation

David Abel passages at rdrop.com
Mon Dec 1 18:31:34 PST 2008

International Writers in Prison
Presentation at Marylhurst University

Wednesday, December 10
(International Human Rights Day)
7:30 pm

Free and open to the public

Shoen Library
Marylhurst University
17600 Pacific Highway (Hwy 43)


Portland writer Martha Gies and students from her human rights workshop 
will discuss the plight of international writers who face political 
persecution around the world at Marylhurst University's Shoen Library at 
7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 10, International Human Rights Day. 
This event is free and open to the public.

Gies points out that Human Rights Day this year falls on the 60th 
anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 
"Attendees will have an opportunity to learn about the ongoing efforts 
of human rights organizations to assist writers who face political 
persecution around the world," Gies says. "And they'll hear about the 
role of writing in other cultures, where writers sometimes pay a huge 
price for their vocation."

Students will present the four cases they have worked on for the last 
three months:

In China, award-winning freelance writer Nurmuhemmet Yasin, known for 
his short stories, essays and poetry, was arrested by authorities who 
consider one of his short stories to be a criticism of their 
government's presence in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. After a 
closed trial in February of 2005, at which he was denied a lawyer, Yasin 
was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He is serving this sentence at 
Urumqi No. 1 Prison, where he is denied all visitors, including his wife 
and two young sons. (PEN American Center case)

In the United States, Leonard Peltier, a writer and indigenous rights 
activist, participated in the American Indian Movement back in the 
seventies. This led to his involvement with the Pine Ridge Indian 
Reservation in South Dakota, where a tragic shoot-out occurred in 1975. 
Wrongfully convicted of murder, Peltier has been serving time in federal 
prison since 1977. (Amnesty International case)

In Mexico, Alfredo Jinénez Mota was a crime reporter who, at age 26, 
disappeared while publishing articles on local drug traffickers for the 
Hermosillo daily El Imparcial in the Northwestern state of Sonora. 
Jiménez has not been seen since April 2, 2005, and is presumed dead. 
(PEN Center USA case)

In the United States, Yassin Aref, a Kurdish poet, was the victim of a 
sting operation in Albany, New York, a case that has been the subject of 
a PBS special and has also raised questions in the New York Times. 
(Muslim Solidarity Committee case)

Marylhurst University, located one mile south of Lake Oswego on Highway 
43, offers professional certificates, graduate and undergraduate degrees 
including English Literature & Writing with concentrations in rhetoric 
and teaching, creative writing and literature.

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