Thursday, May 20, 2010

Kjell Olaf Jensen receives award for services to free expression

Kjell Olaf Jensen receives award for services to free expression

International PEN lauds the appointment by His Majesty King Harald V of Norway of Kjell Olaf Jensen as an Officer of the Royal Norwegian Order of St Olav. The highest honour that can be conferred upon Norwegian, the award has been made to Kjell Olaf Jensen for his many years services to free expression.

Kjell Olaf Jensen (63) is a translator and critic and former president of Norwegian PEN for more than ten years. For almost two decades he has been at the forefront in the defence of the free word, both in the media and as a lecturer - in dialogue with the authorities in Norway and abroad, working with with other organizations, local and international. Jensen has also been a member of the boards of the Norwegian Association of Literary Translators and Amnesty International Norway.

Kjell Olaf Jensen's particular concern is for writers who are fleeing persecution and over the years he has been instrumental to many finding places of safety and refuge. He is a leading member of the International Cities of Refuge Network.

International PEN is immensely proud to have among its midst Kjell Olaf Jensen who epitomises the principles and passions of our organisation. His driving force, tenacity and compassion has not only ensured that freedom of expression is high on the Norwegian government's priorities, but has also provided solace, solidarity and the strength to stand up to oppression to hundreds of writers around the globe.

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