Statement on Assassination of Nahed Hattar

Yesterday was a dark day for all Jordanian Writers and supporters of freedom of speech anywhere. One of our colleagues, prominent Jordanian columnist Nahed Hattar, was gunned down outside the Court of Law where he was due to appear that morning. His killer was a fundamentalist who believed Nahed deserved to die for having a voice different than his own.
We in PEN Jordan, condemn the assassination of Nahed, and vow to continue to fight for the right of every Jordanian to express their opinion openly, freely, and without fear. We shall continue to work diligently on changing any law that impedes freedom of speech.
This is the first ever crime of this kind in a country that has long prided itself on its diversity of culture and opinion, and we must make sure that it is the last. Laws must be put in place to ensure that any intimidation or silencing of opinion be punished. It is our obligation and promise.
Our hearts and prayers go out to Nahed's family at this difficult time.

Pen Jordan