NEW YORK—In response to reports that Agnès Callamard, current UN Special Rapporteur for Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions, will lead a team of three international experts to conduct an initial inquiry into the October 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey, PEN America’s Senior Director of Free Expression Programs Summer Lopez released the following statement:

“PEN America applauds Callamard’s decision to lead this inquiry into Khashoggi’s brutal murder, especially in the absence of action by any other UN bodies. This is an important first step in pursuing accountability for this heinous crime. We urge that the team be permitted to pursue their investigation freely in Turkey, including full access to all evidence, locations, and people that they determine necessary. PEN America has repeatedly called for the UN to authorize an independent, international investigation; we hope Callamard’s inquiry will form the basis for further action by the UN and all those who believe in freedom of the press and in protecting the safety of journalists worldwide.”   

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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