…[T]he prize awarded this week thatâ€™s really worth paying attention to is the PEN Pinter Prize, given annually to both a British writer and an â€œinternational writer of courage.â€
This yearâ€™s recipients are Tom Stoppard and the Belarusian journalist Irina Khalip, who writes for Novaya Gazeta and has consistently covered election fraud, human rights abuses, and the activities of the Belarusian security services, the KGB (not that KGB, but the successor to the same).
Khalip received the PEN Pinter award…on a significant date: October 7, the anniversary of the murder of the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, author of Is Journalism Worth Dying For? and, like Khalip, a reporter for Novaya Gazeta. Khalip paid a low-key but moving tribute to her in her acceptance speech, saying: â€œI have to start my short speech with the name of Anna Politkovskayaâ€¦ Seven years ago this day she was killed. She was a courageous journalist, a person who cared and my colleague.â€