Tsitsi Dangarembga To Be Honoured With The 2021 PEN Award For Freedom Of Expression

Next week on Wednesday, The PEN Award for Freedom of Expression will owner renowned author Tsitsi Dangarembga for her work in fighting for freedom of expression, This was revealed by Writers Unlimited which stated that Dangarembga will be honored during The Winternachten Festival’s Opening Night, which will also include the PEN Award ceremony, and will be live-streamed on 13 January 2021.

According to PEN International President, Jennifer Clement, the awards seek to honour writers persecuted for their work:

For the past sixteen years, PEN International has given the PEN Award for Freedom of Expression at the opening ceremony of the Winternachten Festival. With the active participation of Netherlands PEN and the PEN Emergency Fund, the award honours writers who have been persecuted for their work and continue to work despite the consequences. Over the years we have recognized courageous writers such as Anna Politkovskaya and Hrant Dink and Stella Nyanzi

Writers Unlimited also shared the profile of the winner of the award in 2020 and said:

Last year the PEN Award for Freedom of Expression was given to prominent Ugandan academic, writer and feminist activist Dr. Stella Nyanzi. Dr. Nyanzi was sentenced to 18-months in prison for ‘cyber harassment’ in November 2018. This was in relation to a poem she wrote on Facebook criticising President Museveni and his mother.

Her conviction and sentence were overturned in February 2020, four weeks after receiving the award in the Hague. PEN International and its Centres around the world campaigned for the release of Dr Nyanzi since her arrest, and featured her case in PEN International’s Day of the Imprisoned Writer 2019.

Tsitsi Dangarembga in December got her passport back and was allowed to travel after the Magistrate said she and her friend had not defaulted on their bail reporting conditions since their arrest for protesting against President Mnangagwa and his government’s corruption in July 2020.

More: Writers Unlimited

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