Top prize winners Margaret Atwood, Orhan Pamuk and JM Coetzee led more than 250 literary and journalist luminaries who called on India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to revoke an order stripping writer Aatish Taseer of his “overseas citizenship”.
The letter said Taseer “appears to have been targeted for an extremely personal form of retaliation” for his criticism of the Indian government.
Taseer, 38, born in Britain but raised in India, lost his Overseas Citizenship of India last week. The home ministry announced on Twitter that the journalist had “concealed” the fact that his father was Pakistani.
Critics have, however, called the move a response to a Taseer cover story on Modi in Time magazine during the Indian election titled “India’s Divider in Chief”.
The Committee to Protect Journalists said Taseer’s fate showed that Modi’s conservative ruling party is “intolerant of criticism and freedom of the press”.