(New York, NY)–On August 26, PEN America will join Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Committee to Protect Journalists, Amnesty International USA, and other advocacy organizations for a vigil in Washington, D.C. marking two years since the killing of British American freelance journalist Christopher Allen, who was slain on August 26, 2017 while reporting on the civil conflict in South Sudan. RSF will be holding a parallel vigil in London, with support from Amnesty International USA, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Frontline Freelance Register, Index on Censorship, PEN International, and the Rory Peck Trust.

Allen was covering a rebel offensive in the town of Kaya, located near South Sudan’s border with Uganda, and was embedded with opposition forces for two weeks when fighting broke out between the government and opposition forces. Allen was killed during the fighting, though the circumstances surrounding his death remain unclear. Since then, the South Sudanese government has refused to pursue accountability for his killing despite evidence that suggests he was targeted for taking photographs of the battle. The US and UK governments and international institutions have also failed to provide his family with serious support or assistance for Christopher’s killing.

The vigils will be held in parallel outside the embassies of South Sudan in Washington, D.C. and London, where civil society representatives, fellow journalists, and the family of Christopher Allen will honor his life and work and renew calls for #JusticeForChris two years on.

What: Parallel vigils to call for justice for slain freelance journalist Christopher Allen on the two-year anniversary of his killing
Where: Outside the Embassy of South Sudan in Washington, D.C. (1015 31st St NW #300, Washington, DC 20007) and the Embassy of South Sudan in London (22-25 Portman Close, Marylebone, London, W1H 6BS)
When: Monday, 26 August 2019 from 1pm-2pm EST in Washington, D.C., and 6pm-7pm BST in London
Who: The family of Christopher Allen; Reporters Without Borders (RSF); Amnesty International USA; the Committee to Protect Journalists; the Frontline Freelance Register; Index on Censorship; PEN America; PEN International; and the Rory Peck Trust

Representatives of Christopher Allen’s family will be available for interview the day of the vigil: parents John Allen and Joyce Krajian in Washington, D.C., and cousin Jeremy Bliss in London. Contact RSF spokespersons to arrange.

PEN America press contact:

Stephen Fee
Director of Communications
Office: +1 202 309 8892 / Mobile: +1 202 309 8892

RSF press contacts: 

Rebecca Vincent
UK Bureau Director
Office: +44 (0)207 324 8903 / Mobile: +44 (0)7583 137751

Daphne Pellegrino
Advocacy Manager, North America bureau
Office: +1 202-204-5545 / Mobile: +1 203-815-0379

Noni Ghani
Communications Manager, North America bureau 
Office: +1 202-204-5554 / Mobile: +1 202-431-5185


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.