Roberto Saviano har levd i dekning i to år, omgitt av bevæpnet politi. Det er prisen for å ha skrevet en suksessrik bok om Camorraen. Salman Rushdie sier Saviano er mer utsatt enn han selv var.

Rushdie sier Saviano kan glemme å leve i Italia. Han må rett og slett flykte. Det sies at Camorraen vil ha ham drept innen jul.

I et europeisk land kan ikke myndighetene gi en forfatter et normalt liv. Det er forfatteren, skildreren av sannheten om de kriminelle, som må leve i skjul, i frykt for å bli drept. De kriminelle kan fortsette som før.

The Mafia’s deep-rooted transatlantic connections meant the Italian writer was in danger in the US too, he said.

Mr Saviano, 29, said this week that he felt like a prisoner in his own country because of having to live in a safe house constantly surrounded by armed police officers.

He said he was thinking of leaving Italy – a decision supported by Mr Rushdie.

«Without doubt, he’ll have to leave Italy but he must choose his future destination very prudently,» the author of Midnight’s Children said.

Since Mr Saviano announced that he might flee his homeland, Italians have rallied round him in solidarity, with the government urging him to stay as a symbol of the fight against the Mafia.

But the journalist appears to be exhausted by the strain of living under the Mafia’s death threats.

«Right now I don’t see why I should keep living like this, as a prisoner of myself, my book, my success. I want a life, that’s all,» he told La Repubblica.

«I want to take a walk, get some sun, walk in the rain, meet my mother without scaring her and being afraid.»

Salman Rushdie: Gomorrah author in greater danger than I was under fatwah