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Imprisoned Novelist Ahmed Naji bagged PEN Freedom to Write Award

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The prestigious PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award, presented by PEN America has been conferred upon, jailed Egyptian author and journalist, Ahmed Naji.

  • Naji will be accorded with the award at Pen America’s annual Literary Gala on 16 May 2016 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Imprisoned Novelist Ahmed Naji bagged PEN Freedom to Write Award

Other Awardees

Name of Awardee Reason for Award
J.K. Rowling Inspiring children worldwide to read.
Dr. Mona Hanna Attisha and LeeAnne Walters Exposing the lead contamination in the water of Flint, Michigan.
Michael Pietsch (CEO of Hachette Book Group) Leadership in fighting censorship.


About Ahmed Naji:
The 30 years old Egyptian author Naji is an author of 3 books and journalist at state funded Akhbar al-Adab literary magazine.

  • Presently, he is serving a two year sentence for “violating public modesty” because he included a sex scene in his novel “The Use of Life”.

About PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award
Established in 1987, the award is administered by PEN American Center and underwritten by PEN trustee Barbara Goldsmith. Awards have been granted to 42 writers from around the world, out of which 38 were imprisoned at the time of honor.

  • It honours writers globally, who have fought courageously for the right to freedom of expression.
  • In 2015, it was conferred upon Khadija Ismayilova of Azerbaijan.