Novelist adds his name to a 200,000-strong petition in support of author Roberto Saviano, and compares mafia threats to tactics of 'extremist religious groups'
Alison Flood writing in guardian.co.uk,
Friday October 24 2008
The novelist Ian McEwan has added his name to a 200,000-strong petition in support of Roberto Saviano, and compared the threats of the Neapolitan mafia against the author to the tactics used by "extremist religious groups".
"I personally make no distinction between the Camorra and certain extremist religious groups," he said, "which try to close down discussions with threats of violence."
McEwan, who controversially attacked Islamists and hardline Christians in an interview with the Corriere della Sera published earlier this year, said that he signed the petition in the hope that it "might galvanise the Italian authorities into really taking this seriously. It's a fundamental matter of civil rights and free speech."