15th Annual CJFE Gala Honours Journalists and Lawyer

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Journalists Nahlah Ayed and Omar Sachedina to co-host

TORONTO, Nov. 20, 2012 - On December 5, 2012, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) will honour Mae Azango of Liberia, Rami Jarrah of Syria, Canadian media lawyer Dan Henry, and Enquête, Radio-Canada's investigative television program, with awards for their courageous reporting and commitment to freedom of expression, often in the face of threats. This year's Gala co-hosts will be CTV National News Correspondent Omar Sachedina and CBC Foreign Correspondent Nahlah Ayed.

The International Press Freedom Awards will be presented to Mae Azango of Liberia and Rami Jarrah of Syria for their brave and tireless work reporting stories of critical importance to their communities and the world. CJFE selected the winners for their courageous efforts to report atrocities and abusive practices despite threats to their personal safety - threats that forced both to flee their homes.

The Vox Libera Award is given to a Canadian who has made an important and sustained contribution to free expression at home or abroad. This year's winner is Dan Henry, former senior legal counsel at the CBC and past President of the Canadian Media Lawyers Association, whose passion for media freedom and the public's right to know has been demonstrated time and again throughout his 34-year career.

The Tara Singh Hayer Memorial Award will be presented to Enquête, Radio-Canada's investigative television program. Enquête's team of tenacious reporters and researchers, led by host Alain Gravel, pursued their groundbreaking investigation of organized crime in Quebec despite facing legal threats, intimidation and violence.

The CJFE Gala will also feature a photo exhibit, showcasing stunning images captured at great risk. Kiana Hayeri, an Iranian-Canadian photographer, documents the complexities of everyday life in Iran, and Serbian photographer Goran Tomasevic reveals the horrors of war in Syria. Sponsored by Henry's and the Toronto Star, the exhibit, titled What you don't know CAN hurt you, makes its debut at the CJFE Gala. It will be shared with the public at Exposure in May 2013.

WHO:
International Press Freedom Award winner Mae Azango and Syrian activist and poet Nouri Jarrah, accepting on behalf of his son Rami Jarrah
Vox Libera Award winner Dan Henry
Marie-Maude Denis and Alain Gravel, accepting the Tara Singh Hayer Memorial Award on behalf of Enquête
CJFE Gala emcees Nahlah Ayed, CBC, and Omar Sachedina, CTV

WHEN:
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Media registration & Cocktail reception 6:00 p.m.
Program & Dinner 7:00 p.m.

WHERE:
Canadian Room, Fairmont Royal York hotel
100 Front Street West (between Bay Street and York Street), Toronto

The CJFE Gala is made possible by the support of Evening Sponsor Scotiabank, Reception Sponsor CTV News, Platinum Sponsor CBC News, Exhibition Sponsors Henry's and the Toronto Star, along with the valued support of other organizations and individuals across the media, legal, academic and business communities.

About Canadian Journalists for Free Expression
CJFE monitors, defends and reports on free expression and access to information in Canada and abroad. Rooted in the field of journalism, we promote a free media as essential to a fair and open society. CJFE boldly champions the free expression rights of all people, and encourages and supports individuals and groups in the protection of their own and others' free expression rights.

Follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #CJFEgala.

For more information or to speak with the honorees, please contact:

Jeri Brown
Media Profile
416-504-8464
Jeri.brown@mediaprofile.com

Maria Cortellucci
Media Profile
416-504-8464
maria.cortellucci@mediaprofile.com