Today Islamic State militants posted a video showing the apparent beheading of a second American journalist, Steven J. Sotloff. Sotloff disappeared in August 2013 while reporting from Syria. In a similar video posted on August 19, the same militants murdered fellow American journalist James Foley and warned that Sotloff would suffer the same fate if the U.S. continued military intervention in Iraq.

“The appalling targeting of journalists in the Iraq and Syrian conflicts must stop. They are non-combatants and their harassment, persecution, and murder is a violation of international press, civil, and human rights protections,” said PEN American Center Freedom of Expression Director Dominic Moran.

As with Foley, Sotloff was willing to put his personal safety on the line to report on conflicts for Time MagazineThe Christian Science MonitorThe Daily CallerForeign Policy, and World Affairs Journal. His friends remembered his talent, empathy, and quiet heroism today in comments to the media.

On behalf of PEN members, we express our horror and abhorrence at Steven’s murder and extend our deepest condolences to his family.