Writer Jailed in China Wins a PEN Award
Yang Tongyan, right, a Chinese writer serving a 12-year prison term for posting antigovernment articles on the Internet, will receive the 22nd annual PEN Freedom to Write Award, Bloomberg News reported. The $10,000 award is made to an imprisoned or persecuted writer in jeopardy because of health or other reasons. It is underwritten by Barbara Goldsmith, the author and historian, and presented by the PEN American Center, the United States chapter of the international writers organization. Mr. Yang, an essayist, poet and novelist who suffers from diabetes and arthritis, was arrested in December 2005 on charges of “subverting state authority ” and later sentenced to jail. Also known by his pen name Yang Tianshui, Mr. Yang previously spent a decade in prison for his opposition to the treatment of protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Mr. Yang, who turns 47 on Saturday, is one of 38 writers now imprisoned in China, according to PEN. The award will be presented to Mr. Yang’s lawyer, Li Jianqiang, on April 28 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.