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Salman Rushdie wins PEN/Pinter prize for literary output and free-speech fight

LONDON - The writers' group PEN is honouring Salman Rushdie for his "outstanding" literary output and support for freedom of expression.

The India-born writer, who spent years in hiding after his novel "The Satanic Verses" drew a death edict from Iran's religious authorities, was named winner Friday of the PEN/Pinter prize.

The award was established in 2009 in memory of Nobel Prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter. His widow, Antonia Fraser, said Pinter had "respected Salman twice over, both for his work and his great personal courage."

The prize goes jointly to a British writer seen as sharing Pinter's "unflinching, unswerving" gaze on society, and an international writer who has faced persecution, chosen by the British winner and PEN.

The co-winner will be announced at an Oct. 9 ceremony in London.

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