Prestigious Harold Pinter prize this year goes to the Belarusian journalist and British playwright. The prize established in 2009 is awarded by the United Kingdom’s PEN club.
Sir Tom Stoppard was the winner of the prize back in July this year. Yesterday in the evening the playwright reported that the Belarusian journalist Iryna Khalip will also receive the award for writers for being a “writer of courage”.
Tom Stoppard made this announcement at a public event in British Library on Monday as he officially received the prize awarded to him by a judge Christopher Blend, last year’s nominee Carol Ann Daffy, Harold Pinter’s widow Antonia Fraser and British PEN club’s president Gillian Slovo.
The prize was established in 2009 by the British PEN club in the honor of Harold Pinter, who was an active participant of the Writers in Prison Committee. It is awarded to a British writer, who demonstrates, to put in the words of Harold Pinter’s Nobel speech, “a firm, inflexible and ardent intellectual determination”. The winner shares the award with a foreign writer, who faces persecution or imprisonment for his/her views.
According to Sir Tom Stoppard, Iryna Khalip deserves the recognition of her courage for criticizing the authoritarian regime, despite intimidations and imprisonment. “I started off as a journalist and I’m proud to share the prize with a brave reporter”, – he claimed.
“Harold would have welcomed Tom’s wining the prize with enthusiasm as a great admirer of his creative work. He would have been especially glad that Iryna got the award, since the Belarusian issue was close to his heart”, – Antonia Fraser, Harold Pinter’s widow, noted.