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Author writes about mafia, receives death threats

(WiPC/IFEX) - The Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of International PEN is concerned by reports that members of the mafia in Italy who were denounced in Roberto Saviano's novel "Gomorra" have reportedly announced he will be assassinated by Christmas. Saviano has told the press that he is leaving Italy as a consequence. For the last two years, he has been living under permanent police protection.

WiPC is appalled by the threats to the life of Saviano arising following the publication of his novel, "Gomorra," which draws upon his research into the Neapolitan mafia. Threats to his life have apparently increased since the recent launch of a feature film based on the book.

International PEN calls on its membership of writers based in 104 countries worldwide to add their signatures to the petitions protesting the threat to Saviano's life.

Saviano is one of many writers worldwide who, in speaking out and describing the world around them, are placed in enormous danger. This year alone, 31 writers and journalists have been murdered in the course of their profession. International PEN urges all governments to take measures to protect them, and to bring those who use threats and murder as a means of censorship to justice.

The WiPC recommends the following links with information on this case: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/oct/16/italy-mafia
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jan/14/italy.crimebooks

For Roberto Saviano's website: http://www.robertosaviano.it

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