International PEN has established 15th November as the international Writers in Prison Day.  This is an annual event focusing on the perils facing writers, publishers, editors and journalists using their freedom of expression.  Freedom of Expression, as stated in article 19 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, is a right given to everyone. Unfortunately, in many countries this right is under severe pressure and cannot be taken for granted.  In 2002, more than 700 writers and journalists were attacked or put in prison, some were even killed. For the past ten years, Norwegian PEN has awarded the Ossietzky Prize for outstanding achievements within the field of freedom of expression on 15th November.   


Norwegian PEN presents annually the Ossietzky Prize for outstanding contribution to freedom of expression. The award is usually on the Day of the Imprisoned Writer, November 15th. The prize is awarded annually to a person or institution that made a particular effort for freedom of expression overtime or in connection with a particular issue or event. The winner should have a connection to Norway, personally or in connection with the case in question. There is no requirement that the winner should be a writer or be a member of Norwegian PEN. Norwegian PEN’s members are welcome to propose candidates. The board decides who the prize winner is. Adopted by the board of Norwegian PEN, 2nd February 2016.


2018: Ahmedur Rashid Chowdury, also known as Tutul
2017: Tormod Heier
2016: Edward Snowden
2015: Ulrik Imtiaz Rolfsen
2014: Sidsel Wold
2013: Sidsel Mørck

2012: Deeyah
2011: Mohammad Mostafaei

2010: Mansour Koushan
2009: Mohammed Omer

2008: Chungdak Koren og Francis Sejersted
2007: Democratic Voice of Burma
2006: Ebba Haslund
2005: Fakhra Salimi

2004: Aage Storm Borchgrevink
2003: Stavanger Kommune
2002: Elisabeth Eide

2001: Sigmund Strømme