The Swedish Academy, which selects the winners of the Nobel Prize in literature, has condemned an Iranian death warrant against British writer Salman Rushdie, 27 years after it was pronounced.
Two members quit the academy in 1989 after it refused to condemn Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini's fatwa against Rushdie for allegedly blaspheming Islam in his book The Satanic Verses. Citing its code against political involvement, the academy issued a statement defending free expression but without explicitly supporting Rushdie.
However, in a statement posted on its website today, the academy for the first time denounced the fatwa and reward money for Rushdie's death as "flagrant breaches of international laws."
It didn't specify what prompted its change of heart, but cited state-run Iranian media outlets' recent decision to raise the bounty by USD 600,000.