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Take Action: Join PEN in Condemning Murders of Charlie Hebdo Journalists

Today, at least 12 people were killed in Paris in an attack on the office of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical news magazine with a history of sardonic comment on many religions, including Islam. PEN Centers, human rights organizations, and writers around the world have publicly condemned the murders. Join writers and artists including Salman Rushdie, Woody Allen, Orhan Pamuk, Jennifer Egan, Art Spiegelman, Neil Gaiman, and Louise Erdrich in expressing our grief and outrage, and standing firm in defense of free expression worldwide by adding your signature to PEN's statement.

 

  

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I Join PEN in Condemning the Murders of Charlie Hebdo Journalists

As writers, editors, and artists we stand together today in solidarity and outrage at the murder of our colleagues at Charlie Hebdo in Paris. This attack on cartoonists, writers and editors is an attack on free expression worldwide. It is an attempt to terrorize and intimidate all of us in order to inhibit the free flow of ideas. Peaceful coexistence within diverse communities requires a climate of tolerance and an open exchange of views that includes criticism, humor, and hyperbole. The right to satirize, to question, to expose, to mock, even when offensive to some, is a bulwark of a free society. Today’s bloody retribution for the drawing and publishing of cartoons represents a terrifying challenge to these values of tolerance. We call upon all governments, religious leaders and civil society institutions to join us in condemnation of this vicious attack. We ask them to insist that however offensive speech may be to some, it is never a justification for violence. We call upon responsible authorities and institutions to redouble their efforts to protect those working on the front lines of free expression worldwide who put themselves at personal risk to voice controversial viewpoints. Today’s effort to silence criticism by murdering the artists and writers who voice it must be met with a far wider movement to defend the right to dissent, which forms the spine of free expression.

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