World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Winners of the 2005 Reporters Without Borders

Winners of the 2005 Reporters Without Borders - Fondation de France Prize

SOURCE: Reporters sans frontières (RSF), Paris

(RSF/IFEX) - The following is a 7 December 2005 RSF press release:

Winners of the Reporters Without Borders - Fondation de France Prize

The 2005 Prize goes to:

Journalists who, through their work, attitude or principled stands, have shown a strong commitment to press freedom

The winner is Chinese journalist Zhao Yan, a Beijing researcher for the US daily the New York Times and ex-reporter for the magazine China Reform. He has been imprisoned since 17 September 2004 in Beijing, for supposed fraud and disclosing of state secrets. The 43-year-old journalist faces execution for allegedly passing on notes to a New York Times colleague about rumours of tension between the current and former Chinese presidents. The authorities keep putting off his trial.

A media outlet that exemplifies the battle for the right to inform the public and to be informed

The winner is Afghanistan's main privately-owned TV station, Tolo TV. It was founded by an Afghan-Australian media group, Moby Capital Partners, and broadcasts very independent news programmes (and also music) that contrast with the dry style of the government TV station. Since Tolo's October 2004 launch, the religious authorities have called its programmes "immoral and anti-Islamic" and are pressing very hard for the station to be banned. Despite these threats, Tolo TV continues and has just started the first talk-show for Afghan women, called "Bonu."

A defender of press freedom

The winner is the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ, formerly SOJON), founded in Mogadishu in 2002 to defend journalists and press freedom in Somalia, which has been torn apart by civil war since 1991. The NUSOJ has tackled dozens of urgent cases, doing investigations and alerting international organisations and media, as well as writing reports on the media conditions in a country ruled by warlords. Its secretary-general and the president of its supreme council were forced to flee Somalia in early September 2005 after being attacked, hounded and threatened by militiamen.

A cyber-dissident prevented from informing the public online

The winner is Massoud Hamid, a 29-year-old journalism student and one of the very few journalists who has managed to take and send abroad photographs of a pro-Kurdish demonstration in Syria. For this he was sent to prison for three years on 10 October 2004 and has spent the first year in solitary confinement. He was tortured several times and beaten on the soles of his feet with a studded whip. His feet are now completely paralysed and he suffers from dizziness and back pain.

By honouring a journalist, a media outlet, a defender of press freedom and a cyber-dissident, Reporters Without Borders and the Fondation de France are alerting people to the wide range of attacks on the right to inform the public and to be informed and to the need to actively support press freedom. Each prize is worth 2,500 Euros.

Since it was set up, the Reporters Without Borders - Fondation de France Prize has been awarded to: Zlatko Dizdarevic (Bosnia-Herzegovina - 1992), Wang Juntao (China - 1993), André Sibomana (Rwanda - 1994), Christina Anyanwu (Nigeria - 1995), Isik Yurtçu (Turkey - 1996), Raúl Rivero (Cuba - 1997), Nizar Nayyouf (Syria - 1998), San San Nweh (Burma - 1999), Carmen Gurruchaga (Spain - 2000), Reza Alijani (Iran - 2001), Grigory Pasko (Russia - 2002), Ali Lmrabet (Morocco - 2003) and Hafnaoui Ghoul (Algeria - 2004).

Several winners of the prize have been released just a few weeks or months after being awarded it, including Lmrabet (who won on 10 December 2003 and was freed on 7 January 2004), Pasko (won in December 2002 and released the following month), and San San Nweh (won in December 1999 and freed in 2001).

The prize is awarded by an international jury, whose members are:

Ekram Shinwari (Afghanistan), Andrew Graham-Yooll (Argentina), Rubina Möhring (Austria), Nayeem Islam Khan (Bangladesh), Zhanna Litvina (Belarus), Olivier Basille (Belgium), Colette Braeckman (Belgium), Maung Maung Myint (Burma), Sebastião Salgado (Brazil), Carlos Cortes Castillo (Colombia), Miriam Leiva (Cuba), M'Baya Tshimanga (Democratic Republic of Congo), Domenico Amha-Tsion (Eritrea), Francis Charhon (France), Noël Copin (France), Laurent Joffrin (France), Elise Lucet (France), Pierre Veilletet (France), Sabine Christiansen (Germany), Michael Rediske (Germany), Sailab Mahsud (Pakistan), Ricardo Uceda (Peru), Micea Toma (Romania), Alexey Simonov (Russia), Fernando Castelló (Spain), Maria Dolores Masana Argüelles (Spain), Vicente Verdu (Spain), Eva Elmsater (Sweden), George Gordon-Lennox (Switzerland), Gérald Sapey (Switzerland), Sihem Bensedrine (Tunisia), Barbara Crossette (United States), Ben Ami Fihman (Venezuela).

For the full press release and report, see

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news