International Press Freedom Award

  • Novaya Gazeta, Russia

    The Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta is one of the only independent news outlets in mainstream media in Russia. It has gained recognition for being one of the country’s only sources for accurate news.

    Unfortunately it has also become famous in recent years because of its staff members being killed, including Anna Politkovskaya, a journalist and author who was shot dead in an elevator in her apartment building on October 7, 2006.

  • Jila Baniyaghoub, Iran

    Jila Baniyaghoub is an Iranian journalist, editor, and prominent women’s rights activist. Baniyaghoub edits Kanoon Zanan Irani (Focus on Iranian Women), a news website focused on women’s rights and is also a reporter for newspaper Sarmayeh. She was recently arrested on June 20, 2009 in the latest media crackdown in Iran following disputed election results.

  • Sami al-Haj, Sudan

    On December 15, 2001, Sami al-Haj was on assignment for Al Jazeera to cover the aftermath of the Taliban's flight from Kandahar. While attempting to cross the border into Afghanistan al-Haj was detained under suspicion of having links to al-Qaeda. He was seized by authorities and was imprisoned for more than six years at the Guantánamo Bay detainment camp as an "enemy combatant."

  • Shakeman Mugari, Zimbabwe

    Shakeman Mugari is a Zimbabwean journalist working for The Zimbabwe Independent, and also as a stringer for The Globe and Mail in Canada. He has been fearless in consistently exposing the corrupt government and the multitude of human right abuses plaguing his country. He has written candidly about the many governmentally instituted economic initiatives that have consistently failed to improve conditions for the 80% of Zimbabweans living below the poverty line.

  • Sahar al-Haideri, Iraq

    A dedicated reporter who knew her life was in danger, Sahar al-Haideri was the third female journalist killed in Iraq in a single deadly week in early June 2007.

    The mother of four held a BA degree in Media, participated in numerous journalism training courses and workshops provided by international organisations in Iraq and actively worked for a number of news agencies. These include the National Iraq News Agency (NINA), the Voices of Iraq (VOI) and the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR).

  • Farida Nekzad, Afghanistan

    Farida Nekzad is strongly committed to press freedom and women's rights in Afghanistan. She is the current editor in chief of the Pajhwok News Agency, the sole independent news agency in Afghanistan.

  • Ali Iman Sharmarke, Somalia/Canada

    Ali Iman Sharmarke is the recipient of the Tara Singh Hayer Award, which recognizes Canadians for courage in journalism.

    Ali Sharmarke returned to his homeland of Somalia in 1999 to help rebuild the media in the war-shattered country. Along with Mohamed Elmi and Ahmed Abdisalam Adan, he was one of three founding members of one of Africa's great media success stories, HornAfrik.

    He was killed on August 11, 2007, when his car drove over a remote-controlled landmine as he was returning from the funeral of another journalist, Mahad Ahmed Elmi.

  • Abeer Al-Askary, Egypt

    Abeer Al-Askary is a young Egyptian journalist who has published several investigative reports on controversial and threatening issues. Among her writings are reports on state security officers within the Ministry of Interior who have supervised torture against activists and prisoners. She has also written on corruption and lack of transparency in the educational system in Egypt. Additionally, her writings have contributed to revealing fraud during the Egyptian elections, especially concerning the President's son and the issue of bequeathing the presidency to him.

  • Hollman Morris, Colombia

    Morris has been a reporter since the early 1990s, covering Colombia's internal armed conflict and human rights abuses. He reports for local and national radio, television, newspapers, and works as a documentary filmmaker and independent writer. Morris' highly acclaimed television program Contravia, addresses some of the most difficult and controversial issues in Colombian society. Morris produced a number of special reports on the peace negotiations, including a series of pieces designed to educate the public at large about the circumstances and consequences of the resulting agreements.

  • Hayat Ullah Khan, Pakistan

    Hayat Ullah Khan was a freelance tribal journalist and photographer. He worked under dangerous circumstances, covering the military action in Pakistan's tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. He was abducted on December 5, 2005. His family suspects that he was picked up by an intelligence agency because four days prior to his disappearance he had released pictures from an attack on North Waziristan. His reports contradicted official accounts claiming that a senior Al-Qaeda commander, Abu Hamza Rabia, died after munitions exploded inside a house.

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