The basic principle of Pen Greece is Defending freedom of expression.
Today, in Greece, the freedom of expression is non-negotiable, a basic principle of the Greek democracy, since according to article 11 of the Greek Constitution “Every person has the right to freedom of expression. This right includes freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.
Over the years, however, freedom of expression has not remained intact, nor has its existence been undisturbed.
During the seven years 1967-1974, the principle of freedom of expression was catalyzed and led to sad, dangerous and unacceptable impacts for all those who tried to raise their voices against the very existential power of the Greek Republic.
PEN Greece, following the PEN charter, aspires to become a helper of all those who have a voice against any bad texts, whether they concern the Greek space or the world. To highlight problems that can be identified and concern the deprivation of free expression, ie the free movement of spiritual and moral values, to point out those responsible for a possible upset of balances and the overthrow of freedoms, considering from the outset freedom of expression as the greatest social good.
A freedom that is synonymous with democracy, the avoidance of authoritarian powers but also cultural creation.
A cornerstone for the existence of many rights in all the democracies of the world and, above all, the main axis of balance of intellectual creation is the freedom of expression, that may not be directly endangered nowadays but it is always endangered by the complacency that lurks in modern societies.
In several countries, freedom of expression is not an absolute right. Writers, journalists and intellectuals are being prosecuted and face severe prison sentences.
At PEN Greece we defend the right to expression as a supreme asset and we are aware of the need to disseminate the problems identified worldwide, so that we can become an obstacle on any of its plots.
Tessy Baila, 8th October 2021