Banned Books Week 2023

From September 15 through October 15, 2023, Amnesty International USA will spotlight six cases highlighting individuals or communities whose human rights are under attack because of their work as authors, journalists, bloggers, filmmakers, poets, novelists, photojournalists, publishers, academics, musicians, and librarians. 

Floriane Irangabiye

Journalist sentenced to 10 years for expressing critical views on a radio program


Ahmetjan Juma, Abdukadir Jalalidin, Rahile Dawut

Teacher, professor, ethnographer sent to internment camps or prisons in light of professional work and publications


Unite Against Book Bans

Stop government censorship and erosion of freedom of expression


Yahaya Sharif-Aminu

Nigerian singer on death row for song circulated on Whatsapp


Michelle Recinos

Author, her book was removed from an international book fair

El Salvador

Toomaj Salehi

Hip-hop musician sentenced to 6 years in prison and ban on his artistic activities in light of his music and posts on social media


Don’t miss this year’s special Banned Books events! Click here or scroll through for more information.

2023 Banned Books Week Action Toolkit

2023 Case Sheets

Amnesty’s Persecuted Author’s Poster




Billboard Flyers



Quick Action
Sign up to Take Action to Protect Freedom of Expression and Say No to Censorship!

By signing up, we will provide you with special updates on the 2023 Banned Books Week Focus Cases, and special resources and support for organizing in your community.



Sign the online petitions above for each of the Banned Books Focus Cases.

Or gather as many signatures as you can on these printable petitions.

Download the petitions here!


Send a letter or an email to express your concerns. All actions count and please know that handwritten letters are unique and stand out!

The costs of sending international mail can add up. If your group activity needs support with postage, please email [email protected].

Download the sample letters here!

Raise Visibility Via Social Media

Share Banned Books Week social media graphics via your social network platforms. Help increase awareness and demand an end to the threats against freedom of expression. Encourage your social media networks to take action.

Download BBW social media graphics here!


Send a solidarity card with messages of support that will be collected and delivered to each of the BBW Focus Cases.

Solidarity messages are simple and supportive. Refrain from speaking directly about the case, political or religious messagings should be avoided. Card images should refrain from using cultural and religious symbols.

You can mail Solidarity Cards to:


Attn: BBW Solidarity

89 South Street, Suite LL01

Boston, Ma 02111

Host a Banned Books Week Action Event

Show up. Raise your voice. Change the world. Add your Banned Books Week Action event to our calendar and provide a local opportunity for people to get involved or just be aware that activists are gathering both in-person and virtually to support freedom of expression.

Or join Amnesty’s Banned Books Week Launch Event (scroll down for more information)

Share a Banned Books Week Action event here!

Report Your Action

Reporting helps us to measure impact and we share the total numbers of actions taken with the officials we are trying to persuade and the individuals we are trying to help!

Report back by October 30 and your name will be entered into a raffle to win an Amnesty t-shirt. 25-50 raffle winners will be selected!

Fill out this form to report your actions!


On May 16, 2023, Sareh Sedighi-Hamadani’s death sentence for defending LGBTQIA+ rights was overturned after facing unjust imprisonment and charges from Iranian authorities. Thanks to the support of passionate people like you, she has been released on bail.

Photo by @Private

Books have been banned throughout history. Sometimes, it’s because the ideas presented in a book challenge the values or beliefs of a particular group or institution. Other times, it’s because the content of a book is considered too explicit or obscene for certain audiences. 

Books have also been banned for political reasons or because their authors’ views were deemed subversive or dangerous. Banning books may be an attempt to protect certain values or beliefs, but it ultimately is a challenge to freedom of expression and limits our understanding of the world and our ability to think critically.

Amnesty International’s Banned Books Week Launch Event

Human Rights and Freedom of Expression in the Era of Political and Social Polarization

When: Tuesday, September 26
Time: 6pm-7:15pm ET/5pm-6:15pm CT/3pm-4:15pm PC
Virtual event on Zoom

Webinar RSVP
In-person event & live streamed

Reading Banned Books Together

An afternoon community read of spoken and written words that have been banned or challenged at the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe, a cultural icon on New York City’s Lower East Side, 236 East 3rd St., NY, NY

Amnesty International and the Nuyorican Poets Cafe invite you to join us for an afternoon dedicated to Freedom of Expression and action to end book banning and other forms of censorship. Celebrity guest readers will take the stage to read books and music that have been challenged or banned in the US and abroad. Food and beverage will be served. RSVP required.

Attend in person or join the livestream on Zoom

When: Saturday, October 7
Time: 1-4pm ET
RSVP Required

  • Link to attend in person
  • Link to join the livestream

Find more Information here.