British Pakistani author Kamila Shamsie who was supposed to receive literary award Nelly Sachs Prize (named after a Jewish poet and Nobel Laureate) will not be receiving it for her Pro-Palestine stance. The author has been an active part of Palestinian movement: Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) – operating since 2005 – to induce pressure on the international lobby for the cause.
In a statement issued by the 8-member jury of the award, the decision to revoke Shamsie’s award was announced.
“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,” said the statement.
“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,” it further added.
Responding to the jury’s decision, the author said on Twitter, “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.”
The award ceremony was being organized by the German city of Dortmund where now no author would be awarded the prize for 2019.