(New York)— Responding to the physical assault on journalist Andy Ngo, reportedly by Antifa, in Portland, OR, during dueling protests over the weekend, PEN America issued the following comments today:

“Physical assaults on writers, bloggers, and journalists are unacceptable, full stop,” said Summer Lopez, Senior Director of PEN America’s Free Expression Programs. “It is critical to ensuring our right to freedom of assembly that those who cover protests peacefully are able to do so without interference and certainly without risk of bodily harm.  Those who protest, and those who manage the security for protests, must take every measure to ensure safety for those who would report on and write about them.”    

A reporter for The Oregonian/Oregon Live caught the assault on video: https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2019/06/portland-mayor-police-come-under-fire-after-right-wing-writer-attacked-at-protest.html

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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. pen.org

Contact: PEN America media consultant Suzanne Trimel, strimel@pen.org