Banned books and other forms of censorship

On the banning of books, censorship and other freedom of access issues

Thursday, February 08, 2007

43 writers receive Hellman/Hammet grants

Human Rights Watch has awarded Hellman/Hammet grants to 43 writers around the world this year. The annual grant program began in 1989, according to HRW, "when the American playwright Lillian Hellman willed that her estate be used to assist writers in financial need as a result of expressing their views." Human Rights Watch administers the program.

Of this year's grantees, more than half come from three countries: "China (nine), Vietnam (eight) and Iran (seven) – all of which have sad records of harassing and persecuting journalists, poets, playwrights, essayists, bloggers and novelists who dare to express ideas that criticize official public policy or people in power." Other countries represented include Burma, Cambodia, Cameroon, Colombia, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Georgia (of former USSR), Iraq, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, Rwanda and Zimbabwe.

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