source: UN News
published: 31 March 2017
An imprisoned Eritrean-Swedish journalist who was arrested in a crackdown on the media in September 2001 and was known for his critical and insightful reporting has won a prestigious United Nations prize dedicated to promoting press freedom.
An independent international jury of media professionals recommended unanimously Dawit Isaak in recognition of his courage, resistance and commitment to freedom of expression for the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2017, said the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO) in a press release earlier this week.
“Defending fundamental freedoms calls for determination and courage – it calls for fearless advocates,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova on the selection of Mr. Isaak, who was last heard from in 2005 and whose present location is unknown.
“Some have given their lives in the pursuit of truth. Many have been imprisoned,” emphasized Cilla Benkö, President of the Prize’s 2017 jury.
According to Ms. Benkö, Mr. Isaak has spent nearly 16 years in jail, without charge or trial. “I sincerely hope that with this award the world will say, ‘Free Dawit Isaak Now.’”