Society & Culture

Maldives Independent wins free speech award

April 21 21:03 2017

The Maldives Independent and its former editor Zaheena Rasheed have been named the winners of Index on Censorship’s 2017 Freedom of Expression Journalism Award.

The award celebrates groups or individuals who have had impact in fighting censorship, according to the London-based free speech group.

They were presented in four categories on Wednesday in London.

Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC, a judge for the 2017 awards, hailed the Maldives Independent for continuing to report despite the hostile environment for press freedom in the country.

“Maldives Independent under the stewardship of Zaheena Rasheed has faced attacks from all sides in recent years and despite all that they’ve continued to do what they do best: tell stories, expose corruption, expose human rights abuses and attacks on a free press,” she said.

The award comes with a yearlong fellowship that offers tailored support that includes media training and fundraising advice.

Zaheena described the award as a “lifeline”.

“This recognition and the fellowship has renewed and strengthened our resolve… Most importantly, we no longer feel so alone,” she said.

Other winners were: Chinese political cartoonist Rebel Pepper in the Arts category, Russian human rights activist Ildar Dadin in Campaigning, and digital collective Turkey Blocks in Digital Activism.

Finalists in the Journalism category included Dagestan’s Daptar, Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani, Serbia’s Crime and Corruption Reporting Network (KRIK).

Full details are available from the link below:

Source URL:  Maldives Independent

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