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25 Human Rights NGOs Announce: Targeted Iran International Journalists To Receive2024 Courage Award

GENEVA, May 13, 2024 — A cross-regional coalition of 25 human rights organizations announced today that its prestigious human rights award will go this year to Iran International, to be accepted by news director Aliasghar Ramezanpour and TV news presenter Pouria Zeraati.

Ramezanpour was convicted in absentia two years ago by Tehran’s Revolutionary Court for the crime of “propaganda against the government.”

Zeraati was brutally stabbed in London on March 29th by three men who quickly fled the country, according to the police. The Islamic regime in Tehran, which had made repeated threats against the news agency and just months earlier plotted to kill two other Iran International journalists, is suspected of ordering the attack.

Human rights groups condemned the stabbing. The International Federation of Journalists urged the Iranian regime to put an end to targeting journalists. Freedom House called on the UK to investigate the stabbing as a possible act of transnational repression.

CHOSEN FOR “PUTTING THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE” TO REPORT ABUSES

Ramezanpour and Zeraati will receive the 2024 Courage Award on Wednesday, May 15, at the 2024 Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. The ceremony will be attended by U.N. ambassadors, human rights activists, and journalists from around the world.

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Iran International and its journalists were chosen for “putting their lives on the line to fearlessly report on the Islamic Regime in Iran and its human rights abuses,” said Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of United Nations Watch, a co-organizer of the Summit together with Human Rights Foundation, Cultura Democratica, the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, and more than 20 other human rights groups.

IRAN INTERNATIONAL JOURNALISTS REACT TO AWARD ANNOUNCEMENT

“The Geneva Summit plays a crucial role in focusing global attention on Iran’s human rights abuses and the ever-increasing threat Iran poses to those who report them outside the country,” said Iran International.

“We remain undeterred by such threats, which have been targeted directly against our journalists. Pouria Zeraati was one such target. Attempts to silence us have not succeeded, but they have strengthened our resolve to continue with the work we do as an independent Iranian news channel.”

“We are honoured to receive this award,” said Ramezanpoor and Zeraati. “The 2024 Moral Courage Award is not just the recognition of the journalism we do and of the difficulties we face. It is also an award to our fellow journalists and all those brave women and men in Iran and outside Iran who work so courageously to champion the cause of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Previous laureates of the Geneva Summit Courage Award include leading Nicaraguan opposition politician Félix Maradiaga, the late Russian opposition leader and political prisoner Alexei Navalny, Saudi political prisoner Raif Badawi, and Mauritanian anti-slavery campaigner Biram Dah Abeid.
 

ABOUT THE GENEVA SUMMIT

Ramezanpour and Zeraati will join fellow champions of human rights from around the world at this year’s 16th annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights, including dissidents, activists, victims, and former political prisoners from Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Belarus, Zimbabwe, Bolivia, Russia and more.

“It’s a focal point for dissidents worldwide,” said Neuer, "a one-stop opportunity to hear from frontline human rights advocates, many of whom have personally suffered brutal arrest, imprisonment, and torture."

Videos of past speaker testimonies are available at www.genevasummit.org.

Admission to this year’s May 15 Summit is free and open to the public, but registration is mandatory. The conference will also be available via live webcast.

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