NEW YORK—In response to the fatal shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel released the following statement:

“PEN America condemns the hateful attack today at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh. An attack on peaceful congregants during a Sabbath morning service is an act of brazen anti-Semitic terror, aimed to menace and intimidate. This devastating assault comes amidst a sharp upsurge in anti-Semitic incidents, and hews to a long and shameful history of Jews being targeted by bigotry and hatred in the United States. We offer our comfort and support to all the individuals, family members, and communities of those targeted. PEN America reaffirms its commitment to working for social justice in the United States, protecting free expression for all, including with regard to religious expression, and upholding our Charter, which binds PEN Members to “do their utmost to dispel race, class, and national hatreds.”  We call upon authorities to condemn this brutal attack and bring all those responsible to justice.”

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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: Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager: agasparian@pen.org