Women’s Group: Washington Post Wrong to Suspend Reporter For Reporting Facts; Post Should Immediately Reinstate Felicia Sonmez and Apologize to Readers

WASHINGTON, DC — On Sunday, the Washington Post announced that it has suspended journalist Felicia Sonmez after she tweeted a factual story about rape allegations against Kobe Bryant just hours after the basketball legend and his daugther were killed in a helicopter crash in California.

In reaction to the Washington Post’s suspension of Felicia Sonmez, Shaunna Thomas, co-founder and executive director of UltraViolet, a leading national women’s organization, issued the following statement:

“Yesterday’s actions by the Washington Post are an unacceptable attempt to censure the truth. Plain and simple. The truth is the truth, no matter how inconvenient it might be to a moment. You would think a media outlet would understand that. Democracy doesn’t just die in darkness. Democracy dies when media outlets censure the truth because they are worried about offending people.

“While we join the country in mourning the loss of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, it is fair that many survivors have complicated feelings about Bryant stemming from a 2003 allegation of sexual abuse against him. Public figures are worth remembering in their totality – even if that totality is uncomfortable. Major national newspapers like The Washington Post should know that.

“The Washington Post should immediately reinstate Felicia Sonmez and apologize to its readers for their actions.”

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