Jailed journalist Zeidabadi awarded UNESCO Press Freedom Prize

7 Apr 2011

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Jailed Iranian journalist Ahmad Zeidabadi has been awarded this year’s UNESCO Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.

UNESCO reported that an independent international jury of 12 media professionals selected Zeidabadi and stated in an announcement: “The final choice of Ahmad Zeidabadi pays tribute to his exceptional courage, resistance and commitment to freedom of expression, democracy, human rights, tolerance, and humanity. Beyond him, also the Prize will award the numerous Iranian journalists who are currently jailed.”

While endorsing the decision of the jury panel, Irina Bukova, Director-General of UNESCO called for the release of Zeidabadi from prison.

Zeidabadi was arrested right after the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahamdienjad in the 2009 presidential elections and is currently serving a six year prison term. His sentence also includes 5 years exile to Gonabad and a permanent ban form social and political activity.

Zeidabadi was a former editor-in-chief of Azad newspaper and contributor to Iranian daily Hamshahri, as well as BBC Persian service and Rooz news website. He is also a member of the Association of Iranian Journalists and the president of one of Iran’s largest student organizations, the Iranian Alumni Association (Danesh Amoukhtegan).

The UNSECO Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize has been awarded annually since 1997 to an individual or organization that have defended or promoted freedom of expression anywhere in world especially if the action has posed risks to their lives.

The prize and the $25,000 monetary reward will be awarded in the World Press Freedom Day celebrations on May 3.

source: Radio Zamaneh

Tehran Review
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