The Prisoner and the Pen



On 22 October 2020, Amnesty Westminster Bayswater and the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) held an online event, The Prisoner and the Pen, to feature the writing, songs and poetry of prisoners who are human rights defenders, and also the work of writers/artists from the MENA region. The event on 22 October 2020 was co-moderated by Simone Theiss of Amnesty and Salma Mohammad of GCHR. 

We chose the date of 22 October, Ahmed Mansoor's birthday and included poems written by him.  

From Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, UAE, Turkey & Yemen,  experience: 

  • Poetry by Maryam Al-Khawaja, Golrokh Ibrahimi Iraee & Ahmed Mansoor
  • Songs sung by Ramy Essam & Elsa Saade from poems by Mahmoud Darwish & Galal El-Behairy
  • Readings by İyad El-Baghdadi, Hala Al-Dosari, Yasemin Congar, Artur Ligęska, Mahnaz Parakand, Nick Sotoudeh, & Mohamed Soltan
  • Writing by Ahmet Altan, Nassima Al-Sadah, Nouf Abdulaziz, Atena Daemi, Shadi Habash & Razan Zaitouneh
  • Thoughts on loved ones in prison by Charlotte Allan, Richard Ratcliffe & Laura Rawas
  • Videos featuring the words of Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja & Galal El-Behairy
  • Documentary excerpt from filmmaker Hossam Meneai
  • Artworks by Khalid Albaih and Maha Alomari

The event video is available at

Download the full report (in English, Arabic and some Farsi) by clicking on Download above.