27 September 2016 - Yesterday was a dark day for all Jordanian writers and supporters of freedom of speech everywhere. One of out colleagues, prominent Jordanian columnist Nahed Hattar was gunned down outside the Court of Law in Amman, where he was due to appear that morning. His killer was a fundamentalist who believed Nahed deserved to die for having a voice different from his own.
We in PEN Jordan condemn the assassination of Nahed and vow to continue to fight for the right to every Jordanian to express their opintion openly, freely and without fear. We shall continue to work diligently on changing any law that impeded freedom of speech.
this is the first ever crime of this kind in a country that has a 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 out obligation and promise.
Our hearts and prayers go out to Nahed's family at this difficult time.
To read this statement in Arabic click here.
Jordan: Killing of writer outside courtroom demonstrates urgent need for end to religious insult laws