Reeyot Alemu one of three winners for courage in journalism awards

October 6th, 2012 Print Print Email Email

Reeyot Alemu, 31, an Ethiopian columnist currently imprisoned on charges of terrorism after writing critiques of her country’s government; Asmaa al-Ghoul, 30, a Palestinian blogger and freelance writer who has received death threats for her commentary on the culture and politics of Gaza; Khadija Ismayilova, 35, a radio reporter from Azerbaijan who was blackmailed and threatened after her investigation into charges of malfeasance against members of the Azerbaijani president’s family. These are the International Women’s Media Foundation’s 2012 Courage in Journalism Award winners.

“I am humbled to work in the same profession as these heroic women,” said Katty Kay, co-chair of the IWMF. “It is my honor to be involved with the IWMF as it recognizes their dedication and bravery. It is journalists like Reeyot, Asmaa and Khadija who set an example for all of us.”

The IWMF’s 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to Zubeida Mustafa, 70, a Pakistani journalist who has worked for three decades at Dawn, one her country’s oldest and most widely circulated English-language newspapers.

Theodore Boutrous, Jr., IWMF co-chair, said “A free and independent press is vital to freedom and liberty. The IWMF believes that no press is truly fee if women do not share an equal voice. As the first woman to work at Dawn, Zubeida blazed a trail for women journalists in Pakistan, changing hiring policies and mentoring young women. She showed that women journalists can cover serious topics such as healthcare and economic inequality.”

The 2012 awards will be presented during ceremonies in New York on Oct. 24 and in Los Angeles on Oct. 29.

“The IWMF is grateful to the Bank of America, National Presenting Sponsor of the Courage in Journalism Awards for the seventh year and steadfast supporter of heroic women journalists around the world,” said Elisa Lees Munoz, Acting Executive Director of the IWMF.

About the IWMF

Founded in 1990, the International Women’s Media Foundation is a vibrant global network dedicated to strengthening the role of women in the news media worldwide as a means to further freedom of the press. The IWMF network includes women and men in the media in more than 130 countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.iwmf.org.

About the 2012 Courage in Journalism Award Winners

Reeyot Alemu, 31, worked as a columnist for independent Ethiopian newspaper Feteh until her arrest in June 2011. She was held without charge until September of that year, when she was accused of conspiracy to commit terrorist acts and participation in a terrorist organization. The Ethiopian government presented articles Alemu wrote criticizing its actions as evidence at her trial, as well as telephone conversations she had regarding strictly peaceful protests. Based on these materials alone, a judge sentenced Alemu to 14 years in prison. Prior to these events, Alemu was one of her country’s only female reporters who wrote critically about the political climate in Ethiopia, including analysis of government figures. Now, Alemu has fallen ill in prison. Her associates suffer harassment because of their connections with her. Despite this, Alemu has rejected offers of clemency in return for information about her colleagues.

Asmaa al-Ghoul, 30, is a blogger and freelance writer working in Gaza. Her stories analyze social and political life in the Middle East, focusing on the ongoing divisions among Palestinians and abuses of civil rights by both internal and external forces in Gaza. In 2007, al-Ghoul wrote an article in the form of an open letter to her uncle, a Hamas commander, questioning the methods of certain entities claiming to seek peace for Palestine. The article resulted in al-Ghoul’s uncle threatening to kill her. This is not uncommon: al-Ghoul regularly receives death threats against her own life and that of her young son. She has been beaten by Hamas security forces while covering popular protests and went through a period of sleeping in her office for fear of being killed on her way home.

Khadija Ismayilova, 35, is a reporter for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Azerbaijani service. She investigates corruption and power abuse among her country’s elite. In May of 2012, Ismayilova became the target of a massive smear campaign threatening to defame her and put her life at risk unless she stopped reporting. This included an anonymous letter with photos from surveillance cameras planted in Ismayilova’s apartment, depicting her in an intimate situation with her boyfriend. It was made clear that she would stop her reporting, or risk having the photos made public. In the largely Muslim country of Azerbaijan, “honor killings” still occur. This is not the first time Ismayilova has been the subject of attempts to silence her. She is the victim of regular slander campaigns in pro-government media. The Azerbaijani president has personally tried to have her fired. During the many attempts to discredit her, Ismayilova has refused to stop working and has publicly denounced her accusers.

About the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Zubeida Mustafa, 70, is a Pakistani journalist who has worked for more than three decades at Dawn, one of Pakistan’s oldest and most widely circulated English-language newspapers. She was the first woman to work at the paper, which she did in the capacity of assistant editor and columnist. She helped to enact hiring policies favorable to women and promoted women’s equality in the newsroom. She has mentored dozens of young women in media and has spent her career writing serious and in-depth stories on issues including health care, economic inequality and political agency for women. Today, despite weakened eyesight, she continues to write prolifically and regularly contributes columns to Dawn.

About the Awards

The IWMF Courage in Journalism Awards honor women journalists who have shown extraordinary strength of character and integrity while reporting the news under dangerous or difficult circumstances.

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a woman journalist who has a pioneering spirit and whose determination has paved the way for women in the news media.

Including this year’s award winners, 75 journalists have won Courage Awards and 21 journalists have been honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards.

  1. Tedla Asfaw
    | #1

    We will celebrate Oct. 24, 2012 in Manhattan with waving our flag high. Detail will come in the next week on how we will celebrate this day and be the Voice for all the Voiceless Ethiopians who are suffering in Woyane’s filthy jails.

    We Love You Reeyot Alemu !!!!

  2. Zerayakob Yared
    | #2

    “Comment from: George [Visitor]
    ……..
    Nazret should not accept and post articles and comments that degrade whole ethnic groups, religion, parties, personalities etc. There is no benefit from them but harm as the individuals who draft them are intended to cause chaos in the country. Posting insults that condemn and accuse others is not a democratic right.

    Long live Ethiopia.
    10/06/12 @ 20:32″

    .

    አዬ ጆርጆኒ…..!
    ለመሆኑ እስከ ዛሬ ድረስ የት ሰንብተህ ነው ወዳጄ !?
    ለማንኛውም in that የፉውዳል ጥርቃሞ ትርፍራፊ የካቦዎች የልጅ-ልጆች NAZI-COM ውስጥ ስድብን እንደ ችግኝ አታምርቱ ከምትል, DC ውስጥ በትልቁም ሆነ በትንሹ ለመገበያያ DOLLAR’ን አትጠቀሙ ብትል በበለጠ የመደመጥ እድል አለህ!!
    down over there with this alliance of feudal Mesfin Sileshi’ዎች ካቦዎች and Bandas Asfehaዎች, ቀደም ሲል የሙሶሊኒ አስተርጓሚ በኋላም የሃይለስላሴ, ግን በውስጥ- ውስጥ ደግሞ ለጀብሃ/ወሻዕቢያ የአረብ ተላላኪዎች ገንዘብ አስተላላፊ, ባህል የለሹ እንድያው ብቻ ሁሉንም አሳልፌ ሰጥቸና-ሸጬ እንዲሁም ከድቼም ለሆዴ ብቻ አደርኩኝ ነገሮች!!

    the alliance of: በመፃፃፍ ጠላትን ወደ መረብ ጠሪዎች and ጠላትን መርቶ መረብ አሻጋሪዎች!

    Glücklicherweise: ደቂ አሉላ ወ’ገብርሀት are there, from ዶጋዕሊ እስከ ሊማሊሞ ላይ ሆኖ ይታያል ተከዜ! ኣናብስ ምስ ሓሻኽሮም ኣናብር! ግን መቸም እንግዲህ የራስንም ጉድ ሙሉ-ለሙሉ ሳይሸፍኑ ነውና, ለግዜው ያ-ጭንጋፍ ሰላሳ ዓመታት ሙሉ ሲደናብራቸው የነበሩትን ሓሳዶችና, እንዲሁም ጭንጋፉ ወደ ትግራይ ያዘለቃቸውን ራቢጣዎችንና ባንዳዎቹን በዛሬው ሂሳብ ላይ ሳንደምር ነው:: ይሄን ጊዜው ሲመጣ እንመለስበታለን!! ይሄ ሁሉ ኢትዮጵያ በሁለመናዋ ወደ ትክክለኛው መንገድና መስመር ካልተመለሰች ሰንበቱም ሰንበቴም አይደለ, ብሎ ከማነቃቃት ስሜት ብቻ!

    በርግጥም ጆርጅኒ እንዳልከው, Long live Ethiopia.

  3. Zerayakob Yared
    | #3

    “Long live Ethiopia.
    10/06/12 @ 20:32″
    .
    አዬ ጆርጆኒ…..!
    ለመሆኑ እስከ ዛሬ ድረስ የት ሰንብተህ ነው ወዳጄ !?
    ለማንኛውም in that የፉውዳል ጥርቃሞ ትርፍራፊ የካቦዎች የልጅ-ልጆች NAZI-COM ውስጥ ስድብን እንደ ችግኝ አታምርቱ ከምትል, DC ውስጥ በትልቁም ሆነ በትንሹ ለመገበያያ DOLLAR’ን አትጠቀሙ ብትል በበለጠ የመደመጥ እድል አለህ!!

    down over there with this alliance of feudal Mesfin Sileshi’ዎች ካቦዎች and Bandas Asfehaዎች, ቀደም ሲል የሙሶሊኒ አስተርጓሚ በኋላም የሃይለስላሴ, ግን በውስጥ- ውስጥ ደግሞ ለጀብሃ/ወሻዕቢያ የአረብ ተላላኪዎች ገንዘብ አስተላላፊ, ባህል የለሹ እንድያው ብቻ ሁሉንም አሳልፌ ሰጥቸና-ሸጬ እንዲሁም ከድቼም ለሆዴ ብቻ አደርኩኝ ነገሮች!!

    the alliance of: በመፃፃፍ ጠላትን ወደ መረብ ጠሪዎች and ጠላትን መርቶ መረብ አሻጋሪዎች!
    Glücklicherweise: ደቂ አሉላ ወ’ገብርሀት are there, from ዶጋዕሊ እስከ ሊማሊሞ ላይ ሆኖ ይታያል ተከዜ! ኣናብስ ምስ ሓሻኽሮም ኣናብር! ግን መቸም እንግዲህ የራስንም ጉድ ሙሉ-ለሙሉ ሳይሸፍኑ ነውና, ለግዜው ያ-ጭንጋፍ ሰላሳ ዓመታት ሙሉ ሲደናብራቸው የነበሩትን ሓሳዶችና, እንዲሁም ጭንጋፉ ወደ ትግራይ ያዘለቃቸውን ራቢጣዎችንና ባንዳዎቹን በዛሬው ሂሳብ ላይ ሳንደምር ነው:: ይሄን ጊዜው ሲመጣ እንመለስበታለን!! ይሄ ሁሉ ኢትዮጵያ በሁለመናዋ ወደ ትክክለኛው መንገድና መስመር ካልተመለሰች ሰንበቱም ሰንበቴም አይደለ, ብሎ ከማነቃቃት ስሜት ብቻ!

    በርግጥም ጆርጅኒ እንዳልከው, Long live Ethiopia.

  4. Confused?
    | #4

    About the IWMF
    Founded in 1990, the International Women’s Media Foundation is a vibrant global network dedicated to strengthening the role of women in the news media worldwide as a means to further freedom of the press. The IWMF network includes women and men in the media in more than 130 countries worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.iwmf.org.

    The phrase “freedom of the press” is such a funny expression by itself.
    It is better we use the phrase “Freedom of Human-beings/Humanity” because if there is no “Freedom of Human-beings/Humanity” then there is no “freedom of press”. Why we care about “freedom of press” while there is no “Freedom of Human-beings/Humanity”?
    Our 21 years of savage oppression,looting,racism,……and the consequential fight to be free of this bondage of modern slavery has been reduced and adulterated to the low-grade cause of such funny phrase of “freedom of press”? For what we have been really fighting for during the last 21 years? For “freedom of press”?
    If that is the case then we have to be appeased and satisfied by such awards the West is trying to lull us in return for our fight and misery.Is it the way we evaluate our success?I think we are so confused.

  5. birhan
    | #5

    How true were/are some Ethiopians in the struggle
    for democratic transition of the country ?
    1-If they were/are dedicated why do they focus their
    opposition only on one person,the head of the gov’t
    Meles ONLY instead of working to remove the whole
    woyane/Eprdf system it created for years.
    2-If they were true to the struggle why do they see
    themselves out of it and as if they are doing favour
    for some one or some groups while it is a struggle for
    the benefit of all of us ETHIOPANS.

  6. Sintayehu
    | #6

    How Meles unwittingly hurt himself and his Eprdf.
    Meles hurt himself and true EPRDFites by playing
    a childish media and playing joke with his critics
    and enemies falling to their level of thinking and
    lowly integrity instead of playing hard politics
    and issues with opponents.He greatly underlook them.
    Giving them a lot of amunnution to play with though
    they can’t kill.
    His MEDIA sector greatly undermined whatever he thinks
    he accomplished.

  7. Zerayakob Yared
    | #7

    ኣይተ/ወይዘሮ ብርሃን,

    Democracy is not the absolut road to MENA. It is mostly like catholicism: ቀን-ቀን, ጎረቤትህን እንደ ራስህ ውደድ, ግራህን የመታህንም ቀኝህን ስጠው, ገለ-መለ ሲል ይውልና, ማታ ላይ ግን ጨለማ ክፍል ውስጥ ከትቶና እንዳትጮህ አፍህን በጨርቅ ወትፎ INQUISITION! ማለትም በቁምህ ቆዳህን ከአጥንትህ ይገፋል!CIA እና Pinochet ይመስክሩ! ይሄን ስንል ግን ጠቅላላውን d…ን እልም አድርገን ማውገዛችን አይደለም! የሆነ ሃሳብ በተወረወረ ቁጥር ግን, ዶሞክራሲ ሚለውን ቃል በመሰንዘር, እንደ የልጅ ማስፈራርያ አርጩሜ ሆኖ መቅረብ የለበትም!
    .

    “Air Force Captains Steal Eritrean Presidential Jet, Defect to Saudi Arabia”
    ሃየ ደቂ ሓትኖ ! ኣዲኣያ ገዲፋስ ሓትንኣ ትናፍቕ ! ብእግሪ እንትትሃድሙ ንትግራይ, ብነፋሪት ምስዝኸውን ግና ንሱዕዲ! ዋእ……………………! ስለምንታይ ነታ ነፋሪት ናብ ኢትዮጵያ ዘይምፅእዋ!?
    ዝኾነ ይኹን’ሞ ቐስ-ብቐስ ዶኾን ናይ ብዓርስኻ ድሕሪ ብጉጤት (ብጥልያን ካቻቢቴ ዲኹም እትብልዎ?) ወርቅታት ካብ ክሩምትኻ ተነቒሉ ምትሕዳግ, መንገዲ ዒራ-ዒሮ a la ወዲ ወርቂ ማህፀን ክጀማምር ኢሉ ኾይኑ? ንርኢ በሉ ዓድዋ! ካብ ብሕጅኡ ንኽትፈልጥዎ ጥራሕ, ክፉእ ምዓልቲ ምስዝመፅእ, ይሓ-YEHA, die Wiege der äthiopischen Kultur und Heimat von Zewditu Hagos, ኾነት ተምቤን አይፈልጣኹምን እየን!

    አንድ ቀን በፈረዱት መፈረድ አይቀርምና!

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