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Swedish PEN presents the 2009 Tucholsky Award to author and journalist Dawit Isaak
“The name Dawit Isaak has become, for the whole Swedish people, synonymous with the struggle for freedom of speech and liberty of the press. His fate is a clear example of how oppressors fear free speech. The prize goes to him for his firmness of principle in working for an open democratic society in journalism and drama.”
The award will be presented by Minister of Culture, Mrs Lena Adelsohn-Liljeroth, at a ceremony on the Day of Imprisoned Writers, 15 of November, 2009.
The Tucholsky Award is presented each year by Swedish PEN to a persecuted, exiled, threatened author or journalist. The Award is named after the author Kurt Tucholsky, who in the early 1930s fled to Sweden from the nazis in Hitler's Germany. While awaiting his residence permit he committed suicide, in 1935. He was buried in Mariefred.
The recipients of the awards have all been persecuted, tyrannized, imprisoned or their lives had been threatened because those in power wished to silence their writers' voices.