In response to the reports that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, PEN America Senior Director of Free Expression Programs Summer Lopez released the following statement:

“The reported state-sponsored assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is a shocking abomination. If Khashoggi was indeed murdered inside a diplomatic facility, it is an act of terror that echoes Russian and Chinese tactics of extra-territorial, extra-judicial attacks on dissidents, intended to intimidate any who would speak out against the Saudi government, no matter where they may be, and giving the lie to official narratives of ‘reform’ in Saudi Arabia. If Saudi authorities wish to counter these claims, they must produce Khashoggi immediately. If the killing is confirmed, those responsible for this heinous crime must be held accountable.”

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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. pen.org

CONTACT: Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager: agasparian@pen.org