Italy: Writer wins free-speech prize for mafia exposé

An Italian writer who exposed the violent world of the Naples Mafia was awarded a major free-speech prize yesterday. Roberto Saviano was awarded the Pen/Pinter International Writer of Courage prize, to share with British playwright David Hare. Saviano’s book, “Gomorrah”, which was published in 2006, exposed Naples’ criminal underworld, and the publication of the book led to death threats to the writer, who was forced to go into hiding. Saviano did not attend the ceremony, but sent a message expressing his gratitude “to those who made it possible that my words became dangerous for certain powers that need silence and shade.”