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Rushdie backs Charlie Hebdo honour

Salman Rushdie has defended the PEN American Centre's plans to honour the magazine Charlie Hebdo, saying the decision of six writers to skip the PEN gala in protest will encourage intimidation.

Rushdie said that PEN is "quite right" to honour the Charlie Hebdo artists killed during a January shooting at the magazine's Paris offices.

Rushdie was forced into hiding for years over death threats related to his novel, The Satanic Verses.

Michael Ondaatje, Peter Carey and four other authors have told the literary and human rights organisation they will not attend its May 5 event where the magazine will receive a Free Expression Courage Award.

They cited among their reasons Charlie Hebdo cartoons of Muslims that they consider offensive.

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