Friday, December 17, 2010
Publish date: December 10 • Printable version    

Iranian journalist wins Press Freedom Prize

Abdolreza Tajik

Abdolreza Tajik, jailed Iranian journalist was given the Journalist of the Year award by Reporters Without Borders.

The award ceremony was held last night in Paris hosted by journalist Elizabeth Tchounngui at the Foreign Press Reception Centre, Radio Zamaneh correspondent reports.

Iranian Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi received the 2010 journalist of the Year award on behalf of Abdolreza Tajik who was last arrested by the Islamic Republic on June 12 and still remains in prison.

Thanking Reporters Without Border for awarding this prize, Ebadi went on to say: “I regret that Abdolreza is not here to receive this award in person. His only crime has been to write, to write the truth. For doing that, he is being held in solitary confinement in Evin prison, without his lawyer being able to see him or have access to his case file. Abdolreza is a symbol of resistance in Iran, and he is not the only one. Currently there are 44 Iranian journalists and bloggers who are in jail in Iran.”

The 2010 Media of the Year prize was awarded to Somali station, Radio Shabelle, a privately-owned radio station which has been under attacked by radical Islamist militias that are fighting the transitional government.

Gisèle Halimi, France’s former ambassador to UNESCO, presented the 2010 Journalist of the Year award saying: “The freedom to report the news and the public’s right to receive it are under greater threat than ever. Protecting and promoting media freedom, like the defence of women’s rights, helps to advance the freedoms of an entire society.”

Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-François Julliard said: “This year we are honouring a courageous journalist, Abdolreza Tajik, and a beleaguered radion station, Radio Shabelle.” He added: “These laureates work into two countries, Iran and Somalia, where reporting the news is a constant battle.”

Abdolreza Tajik was arrested in the post-election protests to the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009.

Reporters Without Borders described Tajik as a “determined free speech activist” who has worked as political editor for many reformist newspapers which have been closed down by the Islamic Republic in the course of the past ten years.

The Press Freedom Prize has been awarded every year to a journalist and a media outlet since 1992 by Reporters Without Borders in partnership with French retail chain, Fnac.

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