25 January 2008
The purpose of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize is to honour a person, organization or institution that has made a notable contribution in the name of freedom of expression anywhere in the world, especially if this involved risk, and to afford them the international recognition they deserve.The winner will be granted US$25,000 and this year the prize will be presented in Mozambique, during the World Press Freedom Day conference on 3 May. Candidates are proposed by UNESCO Member States, and regional or international organizations that defend and promote freedom of expression.
Last year for the first time, the prize was awarded posthumously to the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya. Ms.Politkovskaya was a columnist for the Novaya Gazeta newspaper and particularly well known for the hundreds of articles she published on the conflict in Chechnya. She was murdered in the entrance of her home in Moscow on October 7, 2006.
Kavi Chongkittavorn, President of the UNESCO/Guillermo World Cano Press Freedom Prize jury of fourteen professional journalists and editors from all over the world, explained the jury's choice: "Anna Politkovskaya showed incredible courage and stubbornness in chronicling events in Chechnya after the whole world had given up on that conflict. Her dedication and fearless pursuits of the truth set the highest benchmark of journalism, not only for Russia but for the rest of the world."
The prize, which celebrates its 11th anniversary this year, is named after the Colombian journalist who died exercising his profession and has become a symbol of the fight against repression of the media worldwide.
The nomination form can be downloaded at following link. It should be filled out in English or French and returned by 30 January 2008 to UNESCO, Division for Freedom of Expression, Democracy and Peace.
Since its creation, the US $25,000 prize, financed by the Cano and Ottoway foundations, has been awarded to the following laureates: Anna Politkovskaya (Russia, 2007), May Chidiac (Lebanon, 2006), Cheng Yizhong, (China, 2005), Raúl Rivero (Cuba, 2004), Amira Hass (Israel, 2003), Geoffrey Nyarota (Zimbabwe, 2002), U Win Tin (Myanmar, 2001), Nizar Nayyouf (Syria, 2000), Jesus Blancornelas (Mexico, 1999), Christina Anyanwu (Nigeria, 1998), Gao Yu (China, 1997).