(NEW YORK)— PEN America today condemned the Russian government for putting Masha Gessen, author, journalist, PEN America member and former Trustee, on a Most Wanted list, apparently as a reprisal against Gessen’s discussion of widely documented, unprovoked atrocities in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.

A PEN America delegation visited Bucha in December of 2022, heard eyewitness testimonies, and saw visual evidence of the grave abuses that occurred there. 

PEN America’s statement said: “To target Gessen simply for referencing these acts is yet another escalation of the Russian government’s effort to suppress free speech and control the narrative about the Ukraine war.  Gessen is a highly respected and outspoken critic.  That Gessen’s words alone are the basis for this baseless criminal charge only underscores their potency as a principled force in defiance of the Kremlin regime.” 

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.

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, [email protected], 201-247-5057