Belarus journalist wins Pinter writers’ prize

LONDON (AP) — A Belarusian journalist who has criticized her country’s authoritarian government has won a major freedom-of-speech prize.

Iryna Khalip, a correspondent for Russia’s Novaya Gazeta newspaper, shares the 2013 PEN/Pinter prize with British playwright Tom Stoppard.

She was detained and beaten in December 2010 after demonstrating against President Alexander Lukashenko and alleged electoral fraud, and later convicted of disrupting public order.

The PEN/Pinter prize was established in 2009 in memory of Nobel Prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter. It goes jointly to a British writer and a “writer of courage” who has faced persecution.

Stoppard, who scripted Oscar-winner “Shakespeare in Love,” is the author of plays such as “Arcadia” and “The Real Thing.”

He said Monday, “I started off as a journalist and I’m proud to share the prize with a brave reporter.”

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