NEW YORK—In response to reports of mass arrests at peaceful marches in support of journalist Ivan Golunov, recently detained and released, PEN America Senior Director of Free Expression Programs Summer Lopez released the following statement: 

“Russian authorities could not go more than one day without showing their true colors. Having released one unjustly imprisoned journalist, they turn around and arrest a dozen more, alongside hundreds of other peaceful protesters who were standing in solidarity with Ivan Golunov. As the Russian human rights organization Memorial pointed out, while Golunov’s release was cause for celebration, there are still 77 political prisoners being held in Russia, including Ukrainian filmmaker and 2017 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award honoree, Oleg Sentsov. The arrests at yesterday’s protests are just another illustration of the Russian government’s contempt for the fundamental rights of press freedom, freedom of assembly, and free expression.”


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.

CONTACT: PEN America media consultant Suzanne Trimel, [email protected]