In some countries, people aren’t allowed to say anything bad about their government. They don’t have “freedom of expression.”
Some writers who have spoken out against their governments have been put in jail by those governments.
Fortunately, there is a group called PEN International, which defends freedom of expression. PEN International fights for the rights of writers around the world.
Last week, PEN International went to Turkey. The group was led by Canadian author John Ralson Saul, the president of PEN International.
They met with Turkish President Abdullah Gül to show their concern for writers and journalists in Turkish prisons.
PEN asked the Turkish government to consider shortening jail time for prisoners before their trials. This period can often last for years.
Another problem is that prisoners aren’t able to see their lawyers quickly. According to one report in The Toronto Star, one man has been kept from talking to his lawyer for over a year.