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Belarusian Writer Finally Presented With Swedish PEN Award

Belarusian poet and activist Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu
Prominent Belarusian poet and former presidential candidate Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu has received the Swedish PEN organization's Kurt Tucholsky Award.

Sweden's Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth presented the award to Nyaklyaeu at a special ceremony in Stockholm on the evening of February 25.

Swedish PEN had called Nyaklyaeu an "outstanding poet and true advocate of freedom of speech."

He was announced as the winner in November 2011 but was unable to travel to Sweden after being prohibited from leaving Belarus by the authorities.

He was given a two-year suspended sentence for his role in a December 2010 protest against the disputed reelection of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka. He was severely beaten at the protest.

Kurt Tucholsky was a German-Jewish journalist and writer whose books were banned by the Nazis.

He moved to Paris and later to Sweden to avoid persecution.
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