Anti-Israel stance: Pak-British author stripped of German literary award

file photo of British-Pakistani novelist Kamila Shamsie. | Tolga Akmen/AFP

London, Sep 19 : A German city has reversed its decision to hand a literary prize of Nelly Sachs Prize to the novelist Kamila Shamsie because of her support for the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

|he British Pakistani author was announced as this year’s winner of the Nelly Sachs Prize (named after a Jewish poet and Nobel Laureate) earlier this month.

The German city of Dortmund had announced earlier this month that this year’s Nelly Sachs Prize would go to the British Pakistani author Kamila Shamsie.

However, in a statement on Wednesday, the organisers said that the eight-member jury has reversed its decision and that the 2019 award will not be handed to Kamila Shamsie.

The organisers said in a statement that “despite prior research, the members of the jury were not aware that the author has been participating in the boycott measures against the Israeli government for its Palestinian policies since 2014.”

“Shamsie’s political positioning to actively participate in the cultural boycott as part of the BDS (Boycott Disinvestment Sanctions) campaign against the Israeli government is clearly in contradiction to the statutory objectives of the award and the spirit of the Nelly Sachs Prize,” the statement further said.

Condemning the Dortmund decision, Shamsie said on Twitter that “it is a matter of great sadness to me that a jury should bow to pressure and withdraw a prize from a writer who is exercising her freedom of conscience and freedom of expression.”

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