(WASHINGTON) – A House Committee’s decision to  disinvite Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch, from testifying at a hearing about Chinese government influence on U.S. campuses after she refused to remove criticism of former President Donald Trump from her testimony, is “deeply disappointing and contrary to the Committee’s legitimate interests,” PEN America said today.

Summer Lopez, chief program officer for free expression at  PEN America, said: “The House Committee on Education and Workforce’s decision to disinvite Sophie Richardson from testifying due to her criticism of an American president is deeply disappointing and contrary to the Committee’s legitimate interests,. Eliminating the voice of Ms. Richardson as a witness on the basis of her expert analysis while Committee members simultaneously condemn China’s system of political and academic censorship sends precisely the wrong message. The Committee is poorer for having failed to hear from Ms. Richardson.” 

About PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free 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.