NEW YORK—In response to the Trump administration’s refusal to meet the deadline to respond to Congress’s invocation of the Global Magnitsky Act—legally requiring President Trump to determine which individuals the U.S. government has found to be responsible for any gross violation of Jamal Khashoggi’s internationally recognized human rights and state whether he intends to impose sanctions on them—PEN America issued the following statement:

“By failing to meet Congress’s deadline for a report on the Khashoggi case, the Trump administration has demonstrated once again its abdication of leadership in defending internationally recognized human rights. The president and his administration either do not understand the dangers of allowing Saudi Arabia to get away with such a heinous act in violation of international law, or they do not care.  Or, in the worst case, they are actively trying to shield the Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman from accountability for an assassination the CIA has concluded the Crown Prince ordered.  Khashoggi demonstrated true courage in speaking the truth about Saudi Arabia’s brutal repression, despite the known risks involved. It is a disgrace and a deep disappointment that the Trump administration would choose to remain silent in the face of Congress’s request, failing even to support the findings of its own intelligence agencies. This failure to act enables impunity, puts journalists and dissidents around the world at risk, and sends an alarming message that will only empower autocrats. PEN America continues to call for an independent, international investigation to lay the groundwork for accountability.”


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]