An organization that champions dissidents must embrace dissent in its ranks. Over the last week, PEN American Center has been criticized by many writers, including some of our members, over our decision to present our PEN/Toni and James C. Goodale Free Expression Courage Award to Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine that was the target of a murderous attack in January. The heated debate proves the relevance of groups devoted to freedom of expression. It also demonstrates that in an open society, well-intentioned people with shared values can interpret and weigh principles differently.
Although censorship has traditionally been the province primarily of governments, attempts to curb speech are likewise undertaken by vigilantes who employ threats and violence.… Seguir leyendo »
When my husband-to-be and I met the Ghanaian politician John Dramani Mahama at a friend’s wedding near Accra eight years ago, I liked him immediately. I kept up with his fortunes mostly through mutual friends, and I was happy to learn in 2009 that he had been elected his nation’s vice president.
When I read a draft of his trenchant memoir, “My First Coup d’État,” in 2010, I offered to introduce him to some agents and editors in New York. Many people in the developed world expect African heads of state to be either terse and political or bloated and ideological.… Seguir leyendo »
Parecía poco probable que Libia, encajonada entre la caída del régimen en Túnez y la caída del régimen en Egipto, pudiera permanecer inmune a la marea. Gadafi domina un país en el que el descontento ha ido en aumento y los ciudadanos han mirado con repugnancia creciente las discrepancias entre su retórica de la democracia directa y su control autocrático del poder.
En 2006 escribí un artículo sobre él; entonces, la cuestión fundamental era si el cacareado proceso de reforma era una realidad. Parecía que el mayor reformista era su hijo Saif el Islam. Saif habla muy bien, pero con escaso respeto a la verdad.… Seguir leyendo »