PEN America has issued the following statement from Liesl Gerntholtz, Director of the PEN/Barbey Freedom To Write Center, on the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh:  

“PEN America condemns the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh today while reporting from the West Bank. For a journalist with a vest that clearly designated her as a member of the press to be shot in the head  while reporting a story is a shocking affront. We call for an urgent, credible, and comprehensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding the shooting—including allegations that the Israeli military deliberately targeted her. Her killing illustrates the dangers faced by journalists all over the world as they do their jobs.”

Shireen Abu Akleh, 51, had worked for the Al Jazeera network for 25 years. 

About PEN America

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. Learn more at pen.org.

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, STrimel@PEN.org, 201-247-5057