In response to the reports that Journalist Jamal Khashoggi died after a fight in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, PEN America Senior Director of Free Expression Programs Summer Lopez released the following statement:

“The admission by Saudi authorities that Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in their custody plainly exposes all their previous claims about his fate as flagrant lies.  It is absurd to entrust the investigation of Khashoggi’s murder to those most likely to have ordered it; Turkey should call on the UN Secretary General to authorize an independent, international investigation to expose the truth and lay the groundwork for holding those behind this grievous crime fully responsible.  The Saudi regime must not be allowed to hide behind lies in order to literally get away with murder.”  

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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