(New York, NY) – After the U.S. ambassador to Denmark blocked a critic of President Trump from speaking at a NATO conference, PEN America Senior Director of Free Expression Programs Summer Lopez issued the following statement:

“To prevent Sloane from speaking based on the free expression of his political views flies in the face of the longstanding diplomatic tradition of modeling U.S. values for the world. Government retaliation for one’s opinions is inherently undemocratic and anathema to the First Amendment. That it happened on the international stage is an embarrassment to everything the US is supposed to stand for, and yet another gift from this administration to autocrats everywhere.”

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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.

CONTACT: Stephen Fee, Director of Communications, sfee@pen.org, +1 202 309 8892