Outspoken Swedish Academy member, awarder of Nobel, dies

STOCKHOLM (AFP) — Swedish author Knut Ahnlund, a member of the Swedish Academy that awards the Nobel Literature Prize and who boycotted its workings over Iran's fatwa against Salman Rushdie, has died aged 89, the Academy said Friday.

"He passed away on November 28," the Academy said in a statement.

Ahnlund, an author, critic, translator and professor, was appointed a member of the Academy in 1983.

The 18 members of the Swedish Academy are elected for life. His successor on "chair number 7" will be elected at a later date.

In 1996, Ahnlund and two other members had a falling out with the institution's then-permanent secretary Sture Allen who refused to condemn Iran's fatwa against Indian-born British author Salman Rushdie on behalf of the Academy.

Ahnlund was at the time one of the five members of the Academy's Nobel Literature Prize committee. After that, he refused to take part in the Academy's work until his death.

In 2005, he symbolically resigned from the Academy to protest against the awarding of the Nobel Literature Prize to Austrian writer Elfriede Jelinek in 2004.

The Swedish Academy was founded on April 5, 1786, to protect and promote the Swedish language.

Each year, the members of Nobel committee present their proposals to the entire Academy, who then vote in October. The laureate must win more than half of the votes cast.

This year, the Nobel Literature Prize went to Chinese author Mo Yan.


Act of Cowardice

Iran's ruling tyrants have executed yet another political prisoner in flagrant violation of international law.  READ MORE

The rush to Tehran amidst rise in executions

World leaders should halt these visits and link any deal with Iran to its human rights record.  READ MORE

Arming a dictator

What if President Obama ordered the sale of arms to Syrian dictator to massacre his opponents? READ MORE

Slaughter intensifies under Rouhani

231 executions have occurred since the presidential election in June which brought to power Hassan Rouhani. READ MORE

Silence is not the answer

Iran: Bloody crackdown targeting dissidents aims at terrorizing the people into submission. READ MORE

Iran’s Murder Machine

The wheels of Iran's Murder Machine turn in tandem with its nuclear machine. READ MORE

What now?

The West must drop the dangerous pretence that talking to a regime not interested in listening constitutes the winning strategy. READ MORE

A facelift

This cosmetic facelift should not dupe the West into thinking that there are fresh prospects for a nuclear deal. READ MORE

An Act of Cowardice

The terrorist attack against Iranian exiles at Camp Liberty, Iraq, is another sign of Iranian regime's weakness. READ MORE

Much atalk about nothing

In Istanbul they merely agreed to talk about talking later in May in Baghdad, of all places. READ MORE

An unholy alliance

The brutal state-imposed bloodbath in Syria deserves uncompromising reproach. READ MORE

Iran cries for freedom

The clerical regime in Iran has predictably unleashed another wave of terror against the citizenry since the outburst of the latest string of mass protests beginning on 14 February. READ MORE

A new Iran policy

The latest round of nuclear talks had an all-too-familiar result: more time for Tehran and less time for the international community to prevent a nuclear-armed theocracy. READ MORE

Murder overlooked

What would the rest of us do if a mad gunman was in our midst, systematically murdering our fellow human beings in front of our eyes? The responsible amongst us would not look the other way, because that would serve as a source of encouragement for the murderers to carry on with their heinous acts unchecked. READ MORE

Standing up to Iran's executioners

The Iranian regime's malicious noose has yet again taken an innocent life. Political prisoner Ali Saremi, 63, was hanged in Tehran's infamous Evin prison after a lifetime of peacefully espousing human rights and democracy. READ MORE