"It is deeply disturbing to see the President of the United States restrict journalists' access in a retaliatory manner in front of a dictator who leads the most restrictive country on earth," said PEN America Director Nora Benavidez.
This statement was originally published on pen.org on 28 February 2019.
In response to reports that President Trump has barred four journalists from covering U.S.-North Korea summit events in retaliation for their earlier questions, PEN America Director of U.S. Free Expression Programs Nora Benavidez released the following statement:
“It is deeply disturbing to see the President of the United States restrict journalists’ access in a retaliatory manner in front of a dictator who leads the most restrictive country on earth. With this move, the White House has yet again demonstrated precisely the pattern of retaliation PEN America cited in filing its recent lawsuit against the president for his retaliatory tactics to suppress reporters from doing their job, especially when it might seem to portray him in ways he dislikes. This summit with North Korea should have been an opportunity for the president to lift up what makes democracy special. Instead, this attempt to silence American journalists seeking to cover this historic event demonstrates the president’s inclinations to use his power to limit constitutional freedoms, rather than protect them.”