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PEN America Issues Statement on Poisoning of Journalist Elena Kostyuchenko
August 24, 2023

In response to the published account by Russian journalist Elena Kostyuchenko that she was poisoned in Germany, after fleeing Russia for her safety, PEN America issued the following statement:

“The apparent poisoning of journalist Elena Kostyuchenko is a threat against anyone writing and speaking truthfully—from anywhere—about the Russian government,” said Polina Sadovskaya, PEN America’s Eurasia and advocacy director. “Kostyuchenko’s writing about the war holds the Russian government accountable for its abuses and rejects the blind faith the authorities prescribe and demand. PEN America, in supporting the rights of independent Russian journalists like Kostyuchenko, is deeply concerned about transnational attacks and threats of violence against journalists and writers. PEN America calls on all democratic countries, especially those in which independent Russian journalists reside, to protect them from these attacks and to challenge authoritarianism.”

Kostyuchenko, the 2018 Paul Klebnikov Russian Civil Society Fellow, will return to give a talk at the Harriman on October 31, 2023, at noon.