Algerian author Boualem Sansal gestures during a news conference in Frankfurt, central Germany Friday, Oct. 14, 2011. Sensal will be awarded with the 2011 prize of the German Book Trade association on Sunday. (AP Photo/dapd/Thomas Lohnes)
BERLIN (AP) — Algerian writer Boualem Sansal has won the top award at the annual Frankfurt Book Fair for his struggle for democracy in his homeland.
Sansal accepted the €25,000 ($35,000) Peace Prize in Frankfurt on Sunday, saying it will encourage the region’s people who are trying to liberate themselves from “vicious and archaic dictatorships.”
The German news agency dapd reports the author says he hopes the Arab Spring movement will eventually allow Algerians “to finally liberate themselves” and obtain a fully democratic state.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle congratulated Sansal, saying “may his vision of a free and democratic society in Algeria become true.”
Previous winners of the Bookseller Association’s annual prize include Orhan Pamuk, Vaclav Havel and Susan Sontag.