Together with a group of prominent writers, the PEN American Center has issued a statement in response to the the attack Wednesday on the Paris offices of newspaper Charlie Hebdo, described by the group as an "attempt to intimidate writers worldwide and inhibit the free flow of ideas." Additionally, various book-world organizations, including the American Booksellers Association and the American Library Association, have signed a statement issued by the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) saying they "condemn these hideous and barbaric attacks, which represent a chilling and extreme assault on freedom of speech."
In the attack, 12 employees at the publication, which had received threats for its satirization of Islam, were killed. The PEN statement went on to call for renewed efforts to protect "those working on the front lines of free expression.” The NCAC statement closed with: "The failure to stand up for free expression emboldens those who seek to attack and undermine it."
"As writers, editors, and artists we stand together today in solidarity and outrage at the murder of our colleagues at Charlie Hebdo in Paris," the PEN statement continued. "This attack on cartoonists, writers, and editors is an attack on free expression worldwide. It is an attempt to terrorize and intimidate all of us in order to inhibit the free flow of ideas."
PEN also urged "responsible authorities and institutions" to "redouble their efforts to protect those working on the front lines of free expression worldwide who put themselves at personal risk to voice controversial viewpoints."