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Belarus Journalist Shares PEN Honor

Journalist Iryna Khalip
Journalist Iryna Khalip
A prominent Belarusian journalist known for articles challenging her country's authoritarian government has won a major freedom-of-speech prize.

British playwright Tom Stoppard announced Monday while collecting the 2013 PEN Pinter Prize at the British Library in London that he shared this year's prize with Iryna Khalip, a correspondent for Russia's "Novaya gazeta" newspaper in Belarus.

Khalip was detained and beaten in December 2010 after demonstrating against President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and alleged electoral fraud.

She later received a suspended two-year sentence for disrupting public order.

Stoppard told RFE/RL on Tuesday that it is an honor for him to share the prize with "a brave journalist."

The PEN/Pinter prize, established in 2009 in memory of Nobel Prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter, is awarded jointly to a British writer and a "writer of courage" who has faced persecution.

with additional reporting by AP
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    RFE/RL's Belarus Service is one of the leading providers of news and analysis to Belarusian audiences in their own language. It is a bulwark against pervasive Russian propaganda and defies the government’s virtual monopoly on domestic broadcast media.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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