The Ossietzky Award is Norwegian PEN's award for an outstanding effort in promoting freedom of expression. It is awarded annually on November 15, the "Day of Imprisoned Writers". This year's winner is the Iranian writer, playwrite, poet and theater and film director Mansour Koushan.
Koushan is an award winning writer, and will be the first ICORN Guest Writer in Norwayto be given the Ossietzky Award. In Iran, he took part in forming an independent writers' union, and he is a staunch critic of the current regime. In 1998, he was invited to Oslo by the Forum for Freedom of Expression to hold a lecture, and while he was there two of his close friends were assasinated in Iran. Koushan was informed that his name was also on the police's "death list". Because of these events, Koushan could not return to Iran and stayed in Norway. He became Stavanger City of Refuge's Guest Writer in 2000, and has since lived there with his wife and two children.