International Press Freedom Award

  • Alagi Yorro Jallow, Gambia

    Alagi Yorro Jallow is a passionate advocate for human rights in his work as a journalist in Gambia where he is the Managing Editor of The Independent, one of the few media outlets not controlled by the government. For four years, he served as the Vice-Chairman of the Gambia Press Union where he was part of a successful campaign to disband a government controlled media commission with extensive powers to punish journalists. His work as a journalist and human rights advocate has not been without opposition.

  • Mykola Veresen, Ukraine

    Mykola Veresen is a veteran Ukrainian journalist who became, for many, the voice and face of the Orange Revolution. In November 2004, the Orange Revolution began in Ukraine as a series of political protests and events in response to charges of election fraud. Mr. Veresen was the anchor for the independent TV channel 5, a small cable station which was the sole media outlet to give unbiased coverage to the challenger, Viktor Yushchenko. The station was closely watched by international monitors as a key indicator of the fairness of the elections. Mr.

  • The Daily News, Zimbabwe

    The Daily News was started in 1999 by a group of senior journalists. In its heyday it was the biggest independent newspaper in Zimbabwe. However it paid dearly for its popularity and for its uncompromising opposition to government repression. The paper's offices and printing presses have been firebombed, police have brutally and relentlessly harassed its journalists, and have shut down the paper for months at a time, many Daily News journalists, most famously, Geoffrey Nyarota have been forced to flee the country, and even ordinary Zimbabweans have been threatened for buying the Daily News.

  • Sihem Bensedrine, Tunisia

    Sihem Bensedrine is known as a tireless press freedom fighter and human rights activist in Tunisia. Her professional background includes work as a reporter, editor-in-chief at five newspapers, several of which were banned by the government including Kalima and Blanc sur Noir. She also founded and directed Arcs Editions Publishing House, and another publishing house Les editions Aloès which was raided three times by the police and was closed shortly thereafter. She is also the co-founder of Tunisia's Human Rights League.

  • Xu Wei, China

    Xu, a recent college graduate and reporter with Xiafei Ribao (Consumer Daily), was an active participant in the Xin Qingnian Xuehui (New Youth Sudy Group), an informal group who explored topics related to political and social reform and used the Internet to circulate relevant articles.

    Xu was arrested on March 13, 2001, and subsequently fired from his reporting job. He and three others were tried that September on charges that they intended to "overthrow the Chinese Communist Party's leadership and the socialist system and subvert the regime of the people's democratic leadership."

  • Luis Alberto Perez Barillas, Guatemala

    Luis Alberto Perez Barillas operated a community radio station in the town of Rabinal, located in the department of Baja Verapaz. He is also the region's correspondent for Prensa Libre, the highest-circulation national daily newspaper in Guatemala, and its sister publication Nuestro Diario.

  • Lira Bayseitova, Kazakhstan

    The former editor-in-chief of the opposition newspaper Respublika 2000, Bayseitova published an interview in the daily newspaper SolDat with a former public prosecutor from Switzerland who confirmed the existence of Swiss bank accounts held by several senior Kazakh officials.

    Bayseitova's previous work had drawn threats and physical attacks. But her story took a nightmarishly new turn when, following publication of her exposé, Lira's 25-year-old daughter, Leila, was arrested on drug charges and died a few days later in police custody.

  • Mohamed Elmi, Somalia

    Ahmed Abdisalam Adan, Mohamed Elmi and Ali Sharmarke fled the Somali conflict to come to Canada as refugees, winning citizenship and building lives for themselves here. When relative calm returned to Somalia, they returned to their homeland. In December, 1999, they opened HornAfrik, the first independent radio network in the country. Its journalists have faced constant intimidation and threats in a society where there is no one to protest to, and no protection of freedom of the press.

  • Dodojon Atovulloev, Tajikistan

    One of the foremost journalists from Tajikistan, he has fearlessly sought to get the news out on his native country, where violence and state authoritarianism have been the norm for years. The 46-year-old is the publisher of Charogi Ruz ("Day Light"), an independent newspaper that he founded in 1991 and which has published countless articles exposing the government for corruption and accusing President Imomali Rahmonov of terrorism and drug-dealing. Harassment of Charogi Ruz staff, as well as the hounding of its readership, was constant.

  • Myo Myint Nyein, Burma

    The case of Myo Myint Nyein represents a harsh attempt to silence an independent media voice in a country that has more journalists in jail than any other Asian nation. The fifty-year-old Burmese journalist was imprisoned in 1990. The editor of Pay Phu Hlwar magazine was charged with "organizing youths and students to create instability" through articles in the publication, and was subsequently sentenced to seven years in jail. While in prison, Myo Myint Nyein and other incarcerated colleagues clandestinely formed the "Press Freedom Movement".

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