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América • África • Asia • Europa • Oceanía

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Committee to Protect Journalists to honor press freedom champions

Awardees are courageous journalists from Cuba, Iraqi Kurdistan, Ukraine, Russia, and Vietnam

New York–. The Committee to Protect Journalists will honor four remarkable journalists from Cuba, Iraqi Kurdistan, Ukraine, and Vietnam with its 2022 International Press Freedom Awards. All four have withstood immense challenges, including government crackdowns, aggression, and imprisonment to bring the public independent reporting amid rampant disinformation and war.

“Our award winners exemplify the best of journalism: work that shines a light on the impacts of war, corruption, and abuse of power on everyday lives,” said CPJ President Jodie Ginsberg. “We look forward to honoring these inspirational journalists, who demonstrate the central role journalism plays in serving the public good.”

CPJ will also honor Galina Timchenko, editor of the independent Russian news website Meduza, with the 2022 Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award. Timchenko fled Russia due to pressure from the authorities during the previous invasion of Ukraine in 2014. The Gwen Ifill award is presented annually by CPJ’s board of directors in recognition of extraordinary and sustained commitment to press freedom.

“Galina Timchenko draws upon her enormous courage and ingenuity to deliver news to Meduza’s audiences, despite escalating obstacles from Russia’s government. She remains committed to free reporting, even in exile, and the CPJ board is honored to recognize her tenacity and fierce dedication to press freedom,” said Kathleen Carroll, chair of CPJ’s board.

Three of this year’s awardees are currently living in exile, reflecting a growing trend in which journalists are being forced to leave their home countries or risk imprisonment, violence, and even the threat of death. The awardees will be honored during a live gala dinner in New York City on November 17, 2022.

CPJ’s 2022 awardees are:

Niyaz Abdullah (Iraqi Kurdistan): Abdullah is a prominent Iraqi Kurdish freelance journalist. She regularly contributes to media outlets in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, including Radio Nawa, the broadcaster NRT, and the news websites Westga, Zhyan News Network, Hawlati, and Skurd, among others. Abdullah has covered politics, civil unrest, government corruption, human rights, and ethnic and religious minorities in Iraqi Kurdistan. Abdullah faced legal harassment by security forces and local authorities, and she was detained and threatened with violence over her work. In 2021, she fled to France to escape threats against her.

Abraham Jiménez Enoa (Cuba): Jiménez is a freelance journalist and co-founder of the online narrative journalism magazine El Estornudo, launched in 2016. He is also a columnist for The Washington Post and Gatopardo. Jiménez is a prominent outspoken voice within Cuba’s media community, providing fresh perspectives on challenges for independent journalists and reporting on issues rarely covered by state media, including racism in Cuba. In 2020, state security officers strip-searched and handcuffed Jiménez, interrogated him for five hours, and threatened him and his family over his writings about life in Cuba in his monthly Washington Post column. Despite authorities’ threats of legal repercussions if he continued to publish in The Washington Post, later that week Jiménez published another column, stating it could be his last given the threat of imprisonment. The persistent harassment and censorship forced Jiménez to flee to Spain in 2021, where he is currently living in exile.

Sevgil Musaieva (Ukraine): Musaieva is editor-in-chief of Ukrainska Pravda, Ukraine’s leading independent online newspaper covering politics, economics, and culture – and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Musaieva has worked relentlessly since the invasion to ensure the safety of her staff and to inform the public. In June 2022, she and a colleague in her newsroom were subjected to death threats following the publication of an investigative report. Under Musaieva’s leadership, Ukrainska Pravda journalists are providing critical, reliable coverage despite the dangers of war and Russia’s declared ban on the publication.

Pham Doan Trang (Vietnam): Trang is a reporter specializing in human rights and is the founder of the independent legal magazine Luat Khoa. She also edits and writes for The Vietnamese, an independent English-language website, and has reported for the exile-run Danlambao blog. On October 6, 2020, she was arrested under Article 117 of the penal code, a provision that bans making or spreading news against the state. She was held incommunicado for over a year before her December 2021 conviction in a one-day trial. Trang is currently serving a nine-year sentence as a result of that conviction, and was among at least 23 journalists held behind bars for their reporting in Vietnam at the time of CPJ’s 2021 prison census, making the country among the world’s five worst jailers of journalists.

Galina Timchenko (Russia): Timchenko is the editor of Meduza, an independent Russian news website based in Riga, Latvia. She was fired as editor-in-chief of the leading Russian news website Lenta.ru in 2014, to be replaced by a pro-Kremlin successor during Russia’s first invasion of Ukraine. Nearly half of Lenta.ru’s employees resigned in protest, and Timchenko and many of her colleagues fled to Latvia and went on to found Meduza to serve Russian-speaking audiences, free of censorship. The site has been blocked in Russia and labeled as a so-called “foreign agent.”

The journalists will be honored on November 17, 2022, at CPJ’s annual awards ceremony, to be chaired this year by Shari Redstone, chair of Paramount Global.

For more information on attending or sponsoring CPJ’s International Press Freedom Awards, please call Buckley Hall Events at (+1) 914-579-1000 or CPJ’s Development Office at (+1) 212- 300-9021, or email CPJIPFA@buckleyhallevents.com.

CPJ

 

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