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Call for nominations for Hellman/Hammett grants

Human Rights Watch administers the Hellman/Hammett grant program for writers of fiction, non-fiction and poetry who have been victims of political persecution and need financial support. Grants ranging from $500 to $10,000 are available to recognise their commitment to freedom of expression.

The grant is intended for writers who make a living primarily from writing. It also considers activists who write to improve human rights issues.

This year the Hellman/Hammett award was given to 37 writers from 19 countries. These writers have been harassed, assaulted, indicted, jailed on trumped-up charges or tortured, simply for challenging the government. Six of this year's awardees are from China, Iran, and Vietnam. Eighteen of the 37 asked to remain anonymous because of possible continuing danger to them and their families. Among them are writers from Burma, China, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Russia, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tunisia, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.

Deadline for nominations: 17 December 2009.

Nominations arising from crisis situations are accepted at any time. Writers who are in great danger and must flee their country or who need immediate medical treatment after being assaulted, imprisoned or tortured may be considered for an emergency grant.

For more information please contact Marcia Allina at tel +1 212-216-1246 or [email protected]

Click here to download an application form.

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