Skip to main content



Before the lunar eclipse

Iran is a country full of paradoxes. While the state has enacted some of the strictest laws in the world when it comes to same-sex relationships, sex change for homosexuals has become a thriving...

Text: Ramesh Safavi December 16 2014

The way we were

In January this year, Nigeria signed an anti-HBTQ law which criminalizes public displays of affection between same-sex couples and restricts the work of organizations defending gay people. This law...

Text: Jude Dibia December 16 2014

What happens to your mother is not your concern!

The cruelties and abuses taking place today in Syria defy all comprehension. Perhaps not even literature, or the language itself, is sufficient to be able to depict what is happening. But how then can...

Text: Omar Kaddour September 10 2014

The damned revolution

The thin line between the life of an individual and what is happening at large. Words juxtaposed with one person’s point of view have been the theme of some of the literature world's strongest...

Text: Razan Naim al-Maghrabi September 10 2014

Ammar 404 is dead. Long live Ammar 404!

Tunisia is in 133rd place out of 180 in the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index 2014. The journalist and human rights activist Afef Abrougui writes here about the phenomenon Ammar 404, which...

Text: Afef Abrougui May 06 2014

Heckling the powerful in Belarus

Freedom of speech is greatly limited in Belarus. Since 2006 the country has been included in the Reporters Without Borders’ list of ”Internet enemies.” The Belarusian author and blogger Jauhen...

Text: Jauhen Lipkovich May 06 2014

N’existe Pas

For many years Bruce Sterling has been writing about the battle for freedom on the internet, a subject he first wrote about in the highly acclaimed book The Hacker Crackdown in 1992. In this book...

Text: Bruce Sterling May 06 2014

To write and to live in the shadow

The first blog was started in Iran in the beginning of 2001. Since then, the blog culture within the country has grown and there are over 70,000 blogs by Iranians, both inside and outside the country...

Text: Marzieh Rasouli May 06 2014

Ludu and I

1946 saw the establishment of a regime-critical daily newspaper called Ludu. Today, it is a natural institution for dissident writers in Burma. Despite the constant pressure and threats it received...

Text: Bo Bo Lansin March 13 2014

Prison memoirs

Ma Thida is a Burmese human rights activist, author and currently chair of PEN Myanmar. In October 1993, she was sentenced to 20 years in prison for constituting “a danger to public order, and having...

Text: Ma Thida March 13 2014

Notes from the provincial town of N

Anyone who believes that today's Russia is on the wrong track also hopes for political alternatives. However, the Russian opposition has often been fragmented, and how do you protest against a...

Text: Igor Saveliev December 19 2013

Iran: The day we pack our bags

For many years, author Roya Zarrin held a popular yoga class in her hometown in Iran. But since it was also a place where forbidden literature could be discussed fairly openly, it attracted the...

Text: Roya Zarrin October 24 2013

Egypt: The fanatic heart

The situation in the divided Egypt is full of uncertainty—also for those living in the midst of the crisis like author Somaya Ramadan: “How do you act on the courage of your own convictions if you do...

Text: Somaya Ramadan October 24 2013

Syria: The barricades

The woman with the expressive face There she stands with a look of intense surprise on her face on an ordinary morning...

Text: Hazim Alazmah October 24 2013