PEN/Barbery Award for Jailed Journalists

Reuter journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, currently awaiting trial in Myanmar charged under the 1923 Official Secrets have been awarded one of the USA’s most prestigious freedom awards

Only two years old, the annual PEN/Barbey Award is given to honour a writer imprisoned for their work (a slight change in remit from the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith award which honoured ‘writers fighting for the right to free expression’ and discontinued in 2015).

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are the fifth and sixth recipients from Myanmar of these two concurrent awards, with blogger, and (now somewhat ironically) NLD politician, Nay Phone Latt (2010), artist Aung Myint (2002), writer, doctor and activist Ma Thida (1996) and short story specialist, San San Nweh (1995) placing Myanmar first on this inglorious list of countries that include writers from Russia, China, Turkey and Egypt.

Image Credit at Wikimedia

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