We are proud to announce that the city of Girona has signed the ICORN membership-agreement, marking Girona’s official entry into ICORN and confirming its commitment to solidarity, hospitality and freedom of expression. The city has already invited its first ICORN guest writer, an Egyptian journalist and blogger.
On Monday 23. September the mayor of Girona, Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó, and President of PEN Catalan, Carme Arenas, signed the membership-agreement with ICORN, represented by ICORN Programme Director Elisabeth Dyvik. The programme will be managed in close partnership between the city council of Girona and PEN Catalan.
Elisabeth Dyvik, Programme Director, ICORN, says:
"With a rapidly increasing amount of applications from persecuted writers for placement in a City of Refuge, we are delighted to have the city of Girona joining our organization. PEN Catalan is working actively to recruit more cities in the region to join ICORN and to take concrete action to protect and promote human rights and freedom of expression. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to PEN Catalan who has done an amazing job in making Girona part of our fast growing network of more than 40 cities."
Amir Ali is first ICORN guest writer in Girona
Amir Ali is an Egyption journalist and blogger and is known for his secular views and critical writings on Islam and Egypt’s highest religious authorities, published online on his blog Elmenara and other websites. He also worked for the opposition newspaper Al-Ghad, which is the mouth-piece of the Al-Ghad Party (banned under Mubarak).
Amir Ali has been facing harassment by both the Egyptian authorities and members of the public since 2005 as a result of his views and writings. When threats against him escalated in September 2012, after having published an article supporting a detained student, he fled to Spain on a temporary visa. He will stay and continue working in his safe haven in Girona for a year.
In the media
Ajuntament di Girona: Girona acollirà el periodista egipci Amir Ali en el marc del programa Escriptor Acollit del PEN Català
Diari de Girona: Girona donara asil al periodista
Terra: Girona acogera durante un ano al periodista egipcio amenazado amir ali Ara: Girona acollira periodista Amir Ali