After surviving an extremist attack in his own country and being forced into exile in Norway, the Bangladeshi publisher and writer Ahmedur Rashid Chowdhury, who is also known as Tutul, was named winner of the International Writer of Courage award by Margaret Atwood, on 13 October.
Speaking in London, he challenged his critics to counter his views in writing, rather than with violence, describing “a strong effort in Bangladesh to turn the wheels of civilisation backwards and repeat the events and lies of a barbaric era”.
“We are challenging this process through rational thinking and through our writing,” Tutul said. “Anyone who wishes to counter [us] can do so through their writing. But please do not issue fatwas to have me, to have us, killed. Do not dispatch undercover assassins with knives and guns.”
Atwood won the Pen Pinter prize earlier this year. Read more