Saudi blogger and activist Raif Badawi and British poet and critic James Fenton were on 6 October 2015 awarded with the 2015 PEN Pinter Prize. Badawi was named as the 2015 International Writer of Courage by Fenton himself during a public event held at the British Library in London.
Fenton officially accepted the 2015 PEN Pinter Prize at the event. He delivered a lecture written for the occasion, which was published in a limited edition by Faber & Faber. Fenton was selected for this prestigious award in June 2015 itself.
While, due to Badawi's imprisonment, his award was accepted by Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia and campaigner for Raif Badawi.
About Raif Badawi's Incident
Raif Badawi has been a case of concern to English PEN since he was first imprisoned in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in 2012 for setting up a website called Saudi Liberal Network challenging Saudi government. In May 2014, he received a fine of 1 million riyals along with a ten year prison sentence and was sentenced to 1000 lashes.
He was charged against violating the Islamic values and propagating liberal thought. The public flogging of Badawi in January 2015 sparked global outrage. Since then, the campaign for his case spearheaded by his wife Ensaf Haidar has gathered international support.
An anthology of his writings 1000 Lashes: Because I Say What I Think, was also published in the UK in September 2015 by Greystone Books.
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When: 6 October 2015