By Nirpal Singh Shergill
London,November :Journalists from India, Egypt, Turkey, and El Salvador were honoured Tuesday night in New York, at the Committee to Protect Journalists’ 26th annual International Press Freedom Awards for courageous work amid risks including imprisonment, threats, and legal action.
“These awardees are truly remarkable journalists, all of whom have carried out their work with the knowledge that doing so puts them in real danger,” said Sandra Mims Rowe, CPJ Board Chairman. “It is heartening to see such resolve, and to know that even under the most threatening conditions, journalists will always find a way to do their job.”
Malini Subramaniam, who has reported on issues including abuses by police and security forces, and sexual violence against women in her home state of Chhattisgarh,India, received the award from Susan Chira, former deputy executive director for The New York Times and CPJ board member. Award-winning U.S. photojournalist Lynsey Addario presented an award in absentia to Mahmoud Abou Zeid, the Egyptian photojournalist also known as Shawkan, who has been imprisoned since August 2013. Can Dündar, the former editor-in-chief of Turkish daily Cumhuriyet who is facing imprisonment on charges of disclosing state secrets, received his award from Lindsey Hilsum, international editor for the U.K.’s Channel 4 News. Héctor Tobar, op-ed contributor to The New York Times and former LA Times journalist, presented the award to Óscar Martínez, an investigative reporter for the online news magazine El Faro. Martínez has been threatened for his coverage of gang violence and extrajudicial killings in El Salvador.
Christiane Amanpour, chief international correspondent and anchor at CNN, received the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for her extraordinary efforts in the cause of press freedom. Her award was presented by Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian and Azerbaijani investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova, who appeared via video because she is under a travel ban. Both Rezaian and Ismayilova were imprisoned for their work. Amanpour has consistently used her own journalism to defend the rights of journalists around the world.
The awards dinner at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria hotel was chaired by Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide, and hosted by David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker and CPJ board member. The dinner raised $1.75 million for CPJ’s global advocacy and new Emergencies Response Team-including a special appeal during the evening that was matched by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.