International Writers Groups Call for Release of Detained Iranian Writers

The American and Sydney Pen Associations have issued a joint statement calling for the release of Ali Asadollahi, an Iranian poet, and other writers imprisoned in Iran.

“Asadollahi has been an inspiring and leading poet of his generation,” 

 the statement said, and his work has been translated into English, Italian and French.

Ali Asadollahi, who is also a literary critic and secretary of the Iranian Writers’ Association, was arrested Nov. 21 without any charges. He is currently being held in Fashafouyeh Prison and is said to be in solitary confinement and denied access to his attorney.

The Pen statement said, “The sole crime of these writers is their literary output and activities. We call on Iranian authorities to immediately reverse these absurd charges against Iranian writers and order their release.

“The continuing persecution and prosecution of Iranian writers constitute clear violations of their freedom of speech, and freedom of conscience, as protected by Iran’s own laws and its legal obligations under international law,” the statement said, adding,  “We call on the international community to hold this criminal regime accountable for its heinous crimes against writers and poets.” 

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