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Oslo-based radio station Democratic Voice of Burma wins Norwegian PEN's Ossietzky Prize for free expression

(PEN/IFEX) - The following is a 13 November 2007 Norwegian PEN press release:

Oslo, 13 November 2007

Democratic Voice of Burma awarded the 2007 Ossietzky prize

The board of Norwegian PEN has unanimously decided to award the 2007 Ossietzky Prize to the Oslo-based radio station The Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB). The prize will be awarded at a ceremony at the Nobel Peace Center on Thursday, 15 November, which is also the International Day of the Imprisoned Writer.

The Democratic Voice of Burma is a non-profit Burmese media organization committed to responsible journalism. Its mission is:

- to provide accurate and unbiased news to the people of Burma,

- to promote understanding and cooperation amongst the various ethnic and religious groups of Burma,

- to encourage and sustain independent public opinion and enable social and political debate

- to impart the ideals of democracy and human rights to the people of Burma.

"From its modest beginnings in 1992, the radio station Democratic Voice of Burma has continuously defied the generals. Just as Norwegians gathered in suspense around their radios to listen to "The Voice from London" during World War II, the Burmese also have their voice of resistance: The Voice from Oslo."

Says Norwegian PEN president Anders Heger: "Democratic Voice of Burma demonstrates the power of the free word during a country's hours of destiny. Norway has every reason to be honored to house such an important and brave institution."

During the ceremony at the Nobel Peace Center, DVB chairman Harald Bøckman will give a short lecture on the background and political work ahead of the establishment of the radio station in 1992.

The Ossietzky Prize, Norwegian PEN's prize for outstanding achievements within the field of freedom of expression, is awarded annually on 15th November, the Day of the Imprisoned Writer, and consists of a lithography by visual artist Nico Widerberg and NOK 10,000 (approx. US$1,850).

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