Tibetan writer and educator Go Sherab Gyatso (Gosher). (Photo: PENIntel.)

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Dharamshala — Tibetans, students and members of Tibetan Writers Abroad PEN Center commemorated the imprisoned writer's day in Dharamshala and, in collaboration with PEN International, they called for the release of Tibetan writer Go Sherab Gyatso, who has been imprisoned 10 years by China for advocating the preservation of Tibetan language, religion and culture and authored books describing the restrictions on freedom of expression under the Chinese regime.

The imprisoned writer's day commemorated in the hall of College of Higher Tibetan Studies in Dharamshala, HP, India on November 15, 2023 and organised by Tibetan Writers Abroad PEN Center. Teachers, Students from the College and members of the organisation marked the day by introducing history of the PEN International, Tibetan Writers Abroad PEN Center, and the aims and objectives of the organisation.

Professor Yeshe Samten, a member of standing committee of Tibetan Writers Abroad PEN Center, introduced the history of the PEN International and the Tibetan Writers Abroad PEN Center, as well as how they work to raise awareness on Tibetan writers, who are imprisoned by Chinese government for merely writing about the plight of Tibetans, Tibetan language, religion and culture and how they advocate about them on international stage and call for the release of imprisoned Tibetan writers.

Professor Dorjee Tsering, a member of standing committee of Tibetan Writers Abroad PEN Center, presented PEN International's 2023 list of four imprisoned writers, which includes Cuban poet and activist María Cristina Garrido Rodríguez, Ukrainian human rights defender and journalist Iryna Danylovych, Tibetan writer and educator Go Sherab Gyatso (Gosher), and Moroccan journalist and human rights activist Soulaimane Raissouni. They urge the international community to take steps to free and protect them in these countries.

Pema Tso, a member of Tibetan Parliament-in-exile and ex-member of standing committee of Tibetan Writers Abroad PEN Center, read the stories of four imprisoned Tibetan writers, which nominated by the Centre for 2023's imprisoned Tibetan writers, which including Tibetan writer Gendun Lhundup, Tibetan writer Zangkar Jamyang, Tibetan writer Gangkye Drukpa Kyab and Tibetan writer Namse (Senam).

The Day of the Imprisoned Writer is an annual, international day intended to recognize, support writers and campaign for release imprisoned writers, who resist repression of the basic human right such as freedom of expression by the government and country. "Every year on November 15, PEN International launches its Day of the Imprisoned Writer campaign, highlighting the cases of writers who are imprisoned or facing persecution and calling for urgent international action to release and protect them," PEN International stated on Imprisoned Writer's Day on November 15, 2023.

PEN International added, "This year PEN International is featuring the cases of María Cristina Garrido Rodríguez (Cuba), Iryna Danylovych (Ukraine/occupied Crimea), Go Sherab Gyatso (China- Tibet), and Soulaiman Raissouni (Morocco)." They also urged all to take action with them between November 15 and 22, 2023.

Jennifer Clement, President Emerita PEN International said, "Dear Gosher, since you are in jail, the Tibetan language, traditions, culture, and identity is also jailed. The PEN community will never stop advocating for your dreams of freedom, which are our dreams too, and your life."

PEN International urges everyone to write to the Chinese authorities and call on them to release Go Sherab Gyatso immediately and unconditionally, to drop all charges against him, to ensure that he has access to adequate medical care, to release all writers unjustly imprisoned for exercising their right to freedom of expression and artistic expression, to respect their international human rights obligations and to uphold the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.