International Press Freedom Awards

Mauri König, Brazil


2012 CPJ International Press Freedom Awardee

(Courtesy of CNN)


To watch Mauri König's acceptance speech, click here.

Mauri König's 22-year career as a journalist has led him to become one of Brazil's premier investigative reporters. His extensive investigations, in which he has exposed human rights abuses and corruption, have brought him worldwide acclaim and numerous journalistic awards.

In 2004 and 2005, König wrote a comprehensive series of articles for the Curitiba-based daily Gazeta do Povo that revealed the sex trafficking of children and adolescents all along the Brazilian border. The articles led to the arrest of a key sex trafficker.

Among König's most important works is a series of articles in late 2000 and 2001 that documented the recruitment and kidnapping of Brazilian children for military service in Paraguay. While researching the story in late 2000, König was brutally beaten with chains, strangled, and left for dead near the Brazilian border by three alleged Paraguayan policemen after he photographed a police station. In 2003, he was forced to abandon his research along the Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina border area after receiving threats from local police. Neither case was ever resolved.

At least 10 journalists have been murdered in Brazil in 2011 and 2012, at least six in direct relation to their work, according to CPJ research. Despite the lurking dangers for journalists who expose criminal networks and abuses of authority, König continues to probe human rights issues.

A graduate in journalism with a master's degree in literary reportage, König has worked as a "special reporter" with Gazeta do Povo since 2002. He has previously worked for the newspapers O Estado de São Paulo, Gazeta Mercantil, Folha de Londrina, and O Estado do Paraná. He is a board member at the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalists, ABRAJI, a CPJ partner.


More on the Awards

2015
Cándido Figueredo Ruíz (Paraguay), Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (Syria), Zone 9 Bloggers (Ethiopia), Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque,“Zunar” (Malaysia)

2014
Aung Zaw (Burma), Siamak Ghaderi (Iran), Mikhail Zygar (Russia), Ferial Haffajee (South Africa)

2013
Janet Hinostroza (Ecuador), Bassem Youssef (Egypt), Nedim Şener (Turkey), Nguyen Van Hai (Vietnam)

2012
Mauri König (Brazil), Dhondup Wangchen (China), Azimjon Askarov (Krygyzstan), Mae Azango (Liberia)

2011
Mansoor al-Jamri (Bahrain), Natalya Radina (Belarus), Javier Valdez Cárdenas (Mexico), Umar Cheema (Pakistan)

2010
Mohammad Davari (Iran), Nadira Isayeva (Russia), Dawit Kebede (Ethiopia), Laureano Márquez (Venezuela)

2009
Mustafa Haji Abdinur (Somalia), Naziha Réjiba (Tunisia), Eynulla Fatullayev (Azerbijan), J.S. Tissainayagam (Sri Lanka)

2008
Bilal Hussein (Iraq), Danish Karokhel and Farida Nekzad (Afghanistan), Andrew Mwenda (Uganda), Hector Maseda Gutiérrez (Cuba)

2007
Dmitry Muratov (Russia), Mazhar Abbas (Pakistan), Adela Navarro Bello (Mexico), Gao Qinrong (China)

2006
Jesús Abad Colorado (Colombia), Jamal Amer (Yemen), Madi Ceesay (The Gambia), Atwar Bahjat (Iraq)

2005
Galima Bukharbaeva (Uzbekistan), Beatrice Mtetwa (Zimbabwe), Lúcio Flávio Pinto (Brazil), Shi Tao (China)

2004
Svetlana Kalinkina (Belarus), Aung Pwint and Thaung Tun (Burma), Alexis Sinduhije (Burundi), Paul Klebnikov (United States)

2003
Abdul Samay Hamed (Afghanistan), Aboubakr Jamai (Morocco), Musa Muradov (Russia), Manuel Vázquez Portal (Cuba)

2002
Ignacio Gómez (Colombia), Tipu Sultan (Bangladesh), Irina Petrushova (Kazakhstan), Fesshaye Yohannes (Eritrea)

2001
Jiang Weiping (China), Geoff Nyarota (Zimbabwe), Horacio Verbitsky (Argentina), Mazen Dana (West Bank)

2000
Zeljko Kopanja (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Modeste Mutinga (DRC), Steven Gan (Malaysia), Mashallah Shamsolvaezin (Iran)

1999
Jesús Joel Díaz Hernández (Cuba), Baton Haxhiu (Kosovo), Jugnu Mohsin and Najam Sethi (Pakistan), María Cristina Caballero (Columbia)

1998
Grémah Boucar (Niger), Gustavo Gorriti (Panama), Pavel Sheremet (Belarus), Ruth Simon (Eritrea)

1997
Viktor Ivancic (Croatia), Freedom Neruda (Ivory Coast), Christine Anyanwu (Nigeria). Ying Chan (United States) and Shieh Chung-Liang (Taiwan)

1996
Ocak Isik Yurtçu (Turkey), Daoud Kuttab (Palestinian Authority), J. Jesus Blancornelas (Mexico), Yusuf Jameel (India)