CPJ's annual International Press Freedom Awards and benefit dinner honored courageous journalists from around the world on November 24, 2015, in New York City.
Profile videos and speeches by the 2015 awardees are available:
Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently: video profile and speech
Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque ("Zunar"): video profile and speech
Zone 9 bloggers: video profile and speech
Cándido Figueredo Ruíz: video profile and speech
Burton Benjamin Memorial Award winner Kathy Gannon: speech
Cándido Figueredo Ruíz, a Paraguayan journalist who faces death threats and has lived under 24-hour police protection for the past two decades because of his reporting on drug smuggling on the Brazil-Paraguay border.
At least 3 journalists were killed in #Paraguay in 2014, the first time since 2007 that @pressfreedom confirmed a media-related death. #IPFA
Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, a Syrian citizen journalist collective and one of the few independent news sources that continues to report from inside the Islamic State's self-proclaimed capital.
85 journalists have been killed in #Syria since 1992 & since 2011 it has been the most dangerous country in the world for journalists. #IPFA
Zone 9 bloggers of Ethiopia, a group of bloggers of which six were arrested, imprisoned, and charged with terrorism in retaliation for critical reporting.
Prime Minister Desalegn & @DrTedros: Drop all charges & release the Zone 9 bloggers, facing trial again Oct 8. #FreeZone9Bloggers #IPFA
Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, "Zunar," of Malaysia, CPJ's first cartoonist awardee, who is charged with sedition and faces a potential 43-year jail term for drawings lampooning high-level abuse in the Malaysian government.
Prime Minister Najib Razak: Drop all charges against cartoonist @zunarkartunis, facing a possible 43 year prison sentence. #IPFA
Burton Benjamin Award Winner
The Burton Benjamin Memorial Award is given for a lifetime of distinguished achievement in the cause of press freedom.
The Associated Press's special regional correspondent for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Kathy Gannon, will receive the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in the cause of press freedom. Gannon has covered the region for the AP as a correspondent and bureau chief since 1988. In 2001, Gannon was the only Western journalist allowed by the Taliban to return to Kabul during the U.S.-led coalition's assault on Afghanistan. In 2005, Gannon authored I is for Infidel: From Holy War to Holy Terror, an examination of the Taliban and post-Taliban period, published by Public Affairs.
The Committee to Protect Journalists will honor journalists from Ethiopia, Malaysia, Paraguay, and Syria with the 2015 International Press Freedom Awards. The journalists have endured death threats, physical attacks, legal action, imprisonment, or exile in the course of their work.
The 2015 awardees are the Zone 9 bloggers of Ethiopia; Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, "Zunar," of Malaysia; Cándido Figueredo Ruíz, a Paraguayan journalist; and Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, a Syrian citizen journalist collective.
"In a very dangerous period for journalists, these awardees have braved threats from repressive governments, drug cartels, and Islamic State," said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. "Whether through blogs or traditional media outlets, or by drawing cartoons, they risk their personal safety and freedom to bring us the news."
The Associated Press's special regional correspondent for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Kathy Gannon, will receive the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in the cause of press freedom.
"Kathy Gannon has reported in South Central Asia for 18 years, through periods of extensive political turmoil and conflict," said Sandra Mims Rowe, chairman of CPJ's board of directors. "Her commitment to journalism has transcended personal risk and tragedy, including the loss of her colleague Anja Niedringhaus. Gannon is widely known as one of the most thoughtful and dedicated journalists covering the region."
All of the winners will be honored at CPJ's annual award and benefit dinner in New York City on November 24, 2015. David Muir, anchor of ABC World News Tonight, will host the event. Steven R. Swartz, president and chief executive officer of Hearst, is the dinner chairman.
Samantha Libby, Communications Associate
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