NEW YORK—In response to the news that Egyptian blogger and activist Alaa Abd El Fattah has been released from prison after serving a five year sentence for violating the country’s repressive protest law, Summer Lopez, PEN America’s Senior Director of Free Expression Programs, issued the following statement:

“Alaa Abd El Fattah’s release from prison is cause for celebration, but we must not forget that he never should have spent a moment in jail for engaging in peaceful protest. That his release comes with a requirement to spend every night in a police station for the next five years means it does not represent the true freedom Alaa deserves. We call on Egyptian authorities to remove these unjust conditions and permit Alaa to return fully to his life and his work.”


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open 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.

CONTACT: Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager: [email protected]