(NEW YORK)—In response to the public hearing at the Royal Court of Justice in London regarding Julian Assange’s appeal of his extradition order to the United States, PEN America issued the following statement:

“The risk that Julian Assange could face charges in the U.S. under the Espionage Act continues to pose an alarming threat to press freedom. These charges encompass work that is routinely undertaken by journalists in exposing abuses and holding the powerful to account. The Department of Justice’s decision to continue pursuing charges against Assange under the Espionage Act risks emboldening governments intent on restricting press freedom and chilling the work of journalists in the U.S. and globally. We reiterate our call for these charges to be dropped.”

About PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. Learn more at pen.org.

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, [email protected], (201) 247-5057