Yang Tongyan, a Chinese writer serving a 12-year prison term for posting anti-government articles on the Internet, will receive this year’s PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award.
The $10,000 award, announced today in a press release, is made annually to an imprisoned or persecuted writer in jeopardy because of health or other reasons. It is underwritten by Goldsmith, a historian, author and philanthropist, and presented by the American chapter of PEN, an international organization that monitors persecution of writers.
“I was particularly pleased that the advisory committee selected someone from China,” Goldsmith said in a telephone interview. “With the Olympics and the economic conference following them, this is a unique chance to focus on human rights there, and on the secrecy in which they’ve conducted these repressions.”
Read also Yang Tongyan to Receive 2008 PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award from PEN American Center.