PEN America Welcomes Release of Saudi Activist, PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Awardee Loujain al Hathloul
Literary and free expression group cautions that release may not mean full freedom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(New York, NY) — On behalf of writers and free speech advocates around the world, PEN America today expressed joy at the release of Loujain al-Hathloul, a Saudi women’s rights advocate and writer who was awarded the 2019 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award. While details of her release are still forthcoming, PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel said the following:
“What a sweet day for Loujain, to finally be reunited with her family and get a glimpse of the freedom she so richly deserves. But let me be clear. We have yet to be assured this is true freedom. Loujain may still have draconian limitations on her movement and, most poignantly, on her ability to speak out. As she has shown—despite torture, despite abuse, despite being held for over 1,000 days—she is a resiliant, bold defender of the rights of all humanity, and surely such stipulations will not silence her. But we will not relent until she is granted full freedom to speak, work, travel, and live freely.”
PEN America will issue a full statement later today.