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The British Government Would Not Let Havel Meet Rushdie

Ah, the power of the written word. Never forget it.

Salman Rushdie and the Satanic VersesVáclav Havel



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Salman Rushdie remembers Havel in his latest book


New York, Sept 19 (CTK) - British-Indian writer Salman Rushdie remembers how former Czechoslovak and Czech President Vaclav Havel wanted to help him in the early 1990s in his latest book Joseph Anton: A Memoir whose autograph session was held on Tuesday evening.

During his first visit to Britain in his capacity as Czechoslovak president in 1990, Havel wanted to make a clear gesture to support the writer who has been threatened with death following the fatwa by Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini over Rushdie's "blasphemous" Satanic Verses.

Havel wanted to meet Rushdie, but this eventually did not happen.

At that time, Havel was the first prominent statesman to have supported Rushdie in public.

Rushdie was informed about Havel's intention by British playwright Harold Pinter.

According to Pinter, the meeting with Rushdie was supposed to be the second most important point on Havel's agenda after meeting former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.