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17.11.2008 General News

Writers mark Imprisoned Writer 2008 anniversary


The Imprisoned Writer-2008 anniversary was marked at the weekend in Accra, with a call on writers to use the pen as an instrument to promote peace during the upcoming December, general election.

This year's event marked the 24th anniversary of the annual celebration to salute writers world-wide who have been attacked, imprisoned, harassed or lost their lives in the course of practising their profession.

By June this year, 40 writers and journalists world-wide had been killed, 189 disappeared, 65 attacked and 30 detained, whilst 150 others also faced death threats.

In Ghana, the Ghanaian Centre of International Pen (GCIP), comprising poets, editors and novelists dedicated the event to salute writers, including the Senegalese writer, Pierre Lambo Sandjo, said to have alleged that his country' president was involved in money laundering.

Professor Kwame Karikari, Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa indicated that the pen stood for the values of freedom of expression, which remained key to human rights and democracy.

He recalled historical experiences that hindered freedom of expression in the country and expressed worry that infringement on this right still pertained in other countries.

He therefore asked the younger generation to strive to preserve the enjoyment of the right of freedom of expression by guarding against any attempt to create barriers.

Prof. Karikari also reminded writers that responsibility should not be left out when enjoying freedom of expression, adding, freedom should go along with discipline, sensibility and feeling towards others.

Alhaji Abdul-Rahman Haruna-Attah, President for GCIP, said the Anniversary was worth celebrating in Ghana, especially with the clean record the country had maintained in recent years in ensuring that writers were not harassed for their works.

He however called on writers, especially the media to avoid using the pen

against national interest.

He reminded the public that violence did not originate from vacuum but was rather instigated, nurtured, directed by persons, hence the need for all to work at sustaining peace in the country.

Mr. Frank Mackay Anim-Appiah, Executive Director, GCIP also cautioned writers, saying, “we don't want Ghanaian writers to have bad name and record, that they were those who marred the edifice of Ghana's peace.”