On Thursday 15th September, the Independent published a personal apology from Johann Hari. Hari wrote: “So first, even though I stand by the articles which won the George Orwell Prize, I am returning it as an act of contrition for the errors I made elsewhere, in my interviews. But this isn’t much, since it has been reported that they are minded to take it away anyway.”
Four and a half years before, on Monday, 30th April 2007, the Independent published what was to be one of the columns for which Hari won the Orwell Prize for Journalism 2008: How multiculturalism is betraying women.
On Wednesday 14th September, Johann Hari sent back the plaque which had been awarded to him on winning the Prize. He did not include any written explanation or apology, and even though he’d said he was doing it so that his apology would cost him something, he did not return the £2000 prize money. (After this had been publicly revealed, Hari contacted the Prize and offered to repay: Political Quarterly invited him to donate the sum to English PEN.)
Hari claimed in his apology to stand by this and the other articles for which he won the Prize, and to have returned his Prize as an “act of contrition” only.
To take a longer and more detailed look at this article: