News / Africa

Persecuted Journalists to Receive Awards for Their Work

Ethiopian journalist Dawit Kebede was jailed for nearly two years for his reporting on the country's 2005 election violence
Ethiopian journalist Dawit Kebede was jailed for nearly two years for his reporting on the country's 2005 election violence

Multimedia

Elizabeth Lee

The Committee to Protect Journalists lists 25 journalists from around the world who were murdered this year because of their work.  And countless others face threats, prison time and harassment.  Each year, the U.S.-based Committee honors journalists who risk their lives to do their jobs.

This year, four journalists will receive the International Press Freedom Award at a ceremony in New York next week. Three of them first traveled to Washington to share their thoughts with fellow journalists.

Laureano Marquez is a writer from Venezuela who uses humor in his political commentary. "We are the voice for the ones who can't speak out or don't have access to the media.  In my case, my work is humor and humor has always been society's voice," he said.

The Venezuelan government wants to prosecute Marquez.  He says the government's reaction to his writing shows how freedom of expression in Venezuela is deteriorating. "Media outlets that have been critical of the government have been shut down and also some media outlets are practicing self censorship. Protest is being criminalized so that people are afraid to criticize the government," he said.

Nadira Isayeva of Russia also faces prosecution.  She is editor-in-chief of a weekly newspaper in the southern republic of Dagestan and has written about how Russian security forces combat Islamic militants.  After publishing an interview with a former guerrilla leader who accused authorities of corruption, the government accused her of being an extremist. She faces the possibility of eight years in prison, but says she feels vindicated by the Press Freedom Award.

"I broke into tears because there was a lot of misunderstanding about my personal position and of the position of the newspaper in general," she said.

Ethiopian authorities jailed Dawit Kebede for nearly two years for his reporting on the country's 2005 election violence.  He remained in Ethiopia, even though many of his colleagues left the country.

"I always wanted to be a journalist. It was the only thing in my mind," he said.

Kebede says the government's response to his work encourages him to continue. "As far as the government trying to undermine you, by different harassment, that's a recognition that you're doing your professional duty," he said.

Iranian journalist Mohammad Davari is serving a five-year prison sentence and cannot personally accept his award. Iranian authorities arrested him last year on charges of "mutiny against the regime," following his investigative report on the abusive treatment of prisoners.

Joel Simon is the executive director of Committee to Protect Journalists. "Davari is paying a terrible personal price for doing what journalists are supposed to do, exposing corruption and abuse," he said.

The other three award winners face the same threat of prison, but they say that will not stop them from reporting the truth.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid