(New York, NY) – This week, police in Hong Kong began targeting the territory’s colleges and universities, entering one of the final bastions of opposition demonstrations. PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel issued the following statement:

“World class universities have been at the bedrock of Hong Kong’s proud culture, signifying a commitment to reasoned discourse and intellectual freedom. By deploying riot police and rubber bullets and forcing students to flee for their safety, Hong Kong authorities are attacking the foundations of Hong Kong’s civilization. In targeting campuses, Hong Kong’s police have dealt a lasting blow to the role and prestige of institutions of learning in the city, transforming these campuses into militarized citadels.

“The Hong Kong government’s hostile response to these protests have caused anger and violence to spiral out of control. Hong Kong authorities must ensure that there is space for these protesters and their demands to be heard, or the situation will predictably only worsen, tearing away at Hong Kong society.”

###

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