PEN America Highlights World Press Freedom Day Underscoring Writers and Journalists Jailed Worldwide
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(WASHINGTON)— This week, PEN America celebrates World Press Freedom Day while recognizing the immense threats the press and free expression face across the globe. This year’s Freedom to Write Index found that more than 300 writers and public intellectuals have been jailed in 36 countries during 2022, including columnists and journalists.
PEN America expressed gratitude to Senators Menendez (D-NJ) and Rubio (R-FL), Representatives Schiff (D-CA), and Salazar (R-FL) for their leadership in introducing the bicameral, bipartisan World Press Freedom Day resolutions. The Senate and House resolutions draw needed attention to press freedom by highlighting countries it is under attack and where individuals are targeted for exercising their right to free expression.
Nadine Farid Johnson, managing director of PEN America Washington and Free Expression programs said, “Across the world, the bravery of journalists is on full display. Resolute in their commitment to the truth and free expression, they continue to face dangers and even death. In Ukraine, this is especially true for journalist Vladyslav Yesypenko, last year’s PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write honoree who is currently serving a six-year sentence on fabricated charges in Russian-controlled Crimea.”
This week, PEN America hosted a series of conversations focused on World Press Freedom Day, including an advance screening in New York on Monday of the documentary 20 Days in Mariupol with a discussion afterward by the film director, Mstyslav Chernov, an AP video journalist and war correspondent; PEN CEO Suzanne Nossel—who led a writers delegation to Ukraine in 2022— AP Executive Editor Julie Pace and Sergiy Tomilenko, president of the Ukraine journalists union. The film tells the story of a team of Associated Press journalists trapped in the besieged Ukraine city during the months-long Russian assault in 2022.
This year marked the 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day, which is recognized on May 3 to raise awareness about the value of press freedom, the necessity of defending journalists’ rights, and the need to support independent, free media.
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. To learn more visit PEN.org