Maziar Bahari

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Press Releases   |   CPJ

Four journalists honored for commitment to press freedom

New Initiatives Fund set up to help combat 'war on journalists'
International Press Freedom Awardees, from left, Mikhail Zygar, Ferial Haffajee, Aung Zaw, and Siamak Ghaderi. (Getty Images/Bryan Thomas)

New York, November 26, 2014--Four journalists from Burma, Iran, Russia, and South Africa were honored Tuesday night at the Committee to Protect Journalists' 24th annual International Press Freedom Awards for their work in defiance of imprisonment, repression, and censorship.

November 26, 2014 1:12 PM ET

Blog   |   Iran

CPJ joins call for UN members to push for greater human rights in Iran

The Committee to Protect Journalists has joined 29 other organizations in calling on member states of the U.N. General Assembly to vote in favor of a resolution for the promotion and protection of human rights in Iran. The vote is scheduled to take place on November 18.

Blog   |   CPJ, Iran

Rosewater: An Iranian journalist's journey from prison to silver screen

In 2009, the sketch comedian Jason Jones traveled to Iran to interview Newsweek reporter Maziar Bahari for "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart. Shortly after the disputed June 12 elections, the series of reports aired amid a brutal crackdown on Iranian journalists and the opposition. Bahari was among those arrested. Among the "evidence" presented by his interrogators--one of whom smelled like rosewater--was his interview with the fake news show, which they claimed was proof he had spoken with an American spy. When they could not get those charges to stick they made up a new one: "media espionage."

November 4, 2014 1:57 PM ET

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Press Freedom Awards

CPJ International Press Freedom Awards 2014

(Courtesy of ABC News)

Watch or read the remarks of dinner chairman Alberto Ibargüen as prepared for delivery.


(Irrawaddy)

Aung Zaw, Burma

Founder, editor-in-chief, The Irrawaddy

Fact: At least eight journalists are behind bars in Burma.

President Thein Sein: Release all jailed journalists in #Burma and stop the harassment of the media #IPFA
(Siamak Ghaderi)

Siamak Ghaderi, Iran

Freelance journalist, former editor at IRNA

Fact: With around 35 journalists in jail each, Iran and China are the world’s leading jailers of journalists.

.@HassanRouhani & @JZarif must end crackdown on press in #Iran. Free the dozens of imprisoned journalists #IPFA



(Dozhd TV)

Mikhail Zygar, Russia

Editor-in-chief, Dozhd

Fact: At least 32 journalists have been murdered with impunity in Russia since 1992.

President Putin, allow Dozhd TV to work freely in #Russia! #IPFA @tvrain @KremlinRussia_E

(Gallo Images Destiny Nick Boulton)

Ferial Haffajee, South Africa

Editor-in-chief, City Press

Fact: The Protection of State Information Bill, dubbed the "secrecy bill," was passed by Parliament in November 2013 and awaits President Jacob Zuma’s signature into law.

The #SecrecyBill has no place in a democratic & free #SouthAfrica. Send it for Constitutional Court review #IPFA


Burton Benjamin Memorial Award

Jorge Ramos

Anchor, Univision News

(Gio Alma)



Four journalists from Burma, Iran, Russia, and South Africa were honored on November 25, 2014 at the Committee to Protect Journalists' 24th annual International Press Freedom Awards for their work in defiance of imprisonment, repression, and censorship.

The dinner, at New York's Waldorf-Astoria hotel, raised a record $1.9 million for CPJ's worldwide press freedom advocacy. To show support for this year's honorees and reporters across the globe who confront the war on journalists daily, Alberto Ibargüen, president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and dinner chairman, also announced a commitment of an additional $858,000 from the New Initiatives Fund, a newly created network of several funders including Knight Foundation. A special appeal during the evening raised $235,635. Those funds were matched one-to-one by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The total amount raised for the event was more than $2.7 million.

Iranian freelance journalist Siamak Ghaderi, who was released in July after spending four years in prison, received his International Press Freedom Award from journalist Maziar Bahari, who was jailed in Iran in 2009. Ghaderi had previously been an editor and reporter for the Islamic Republic's official news agency IRNA. Rebecca MacKinnon, co-founder of Global Voices Online, presented an award to Burmese journalist Aung Zaw, founder and editor-in-chief of The Irrawaddy, which was branded an "enemy of the state" by the former military regime and still comes under pressure from the current Burmese government. Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian, honored Mikhail Zygar, editor-in-chief for the Russian independent TV channel Dozhd, which provides a rare alternative to Kremlin-controlled federal stations. Clarence Page, a Pulitzer prize-winning columnist from the Chicago Tribune, presented Ferial Haffajee, editor-in-chief of City Press in South Africa, with her award. Haffajee has faced fierce criticism and threats of violence against herself and her staff for critical stories published under her leadership. Recently freed International Press Freedom Awardee Nguyen Van Hai, who was in prison when his award was presented in 2013, delivered a powerful speech calling for the release of journalists worldwide.

The newly announced New Initiatives Fund is supported by a network made up of the Knight Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, and the New Venture Fund, which is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The fund will enable faster and better data and reports, and strengthen analysis and advocacy. CPJ will increase interventions and referrals on safety issues, particularly for reporters without institutional support, such as freelance or local journalists.

Read the announcement of the 2014 International Press Freedom Awardees in Arabic, English, Farsi, Russian and Spanish.

Media contact
Samantha Libby, Communications Associate
Tel: +1 212-300-9032
Email: [email protected]

September 30, 2014 11:00 AM ET

Statements   |   Iran

Four journalists, including three U.S. citizens, detained in Iran

New York, July 24, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by a Washington Post report today that says Iran has detained four journalists--three of whom are U.S. citizens--and calls on authorities to release them immediately. Jason Rezaian, a U.S. citizen and a correspondent for the Post, and his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, an Iranian correspondent for the United Arab Emirates-based newspaper The National, were taken into custody in Tehran this week. The report said the other two are photojournalists, but did not identify them. It is not clear why the journalists were arrested.

Impact

News from the Committee to Protect Journalists, May 2013

Gunman sentenced in murder of Philippine journalist

CPJ has extensively covered the case of radio journalist Gerardo Ortega, who was killed in January 2011 in the Philippines, and has provided non-financial support for the Ortega family. Through our Global Campaign Against Impunity and the new digital component Speak Justice: Voices Against Impunity, CPJ has also pressured the Philippine government to break the country's silencing circle of impunity.

On May 7, a man who said he was paid the equivalent of US$250 to kill Ortega was sentenced to life imprisonment. But CPJ's work does not stop with this conviction. Too often we have seen low-level hit men tried and sentenced, while powerful political figures remain outside the grasp of the law.

May 31, 2013 3:52 PM ET

Blog   |   Iran

Video: CPJ panel on Iran, with Jon Stewart, Maziar Bahari

Check out the full video of "Censorship and Power in Iran," a panel discussion on imprisoned journalists in Iran that was held on May 8 at the School of Visual Arts in New York. The panel, featuring Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari and CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon and moderated by political satirist Jon Stewart, was followed by a lively Q&A.

The discussion followed a special screening of Bahari's film, called "Forced Confessions," and a short video, called "Iran's Journalists in Chains" about the deterioration of press freedom in the country.

May 14, 2013 10:57 AM ET

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Blog   |   Iran

Jon Stewart, Maziar Bahari, and #FreeIranPress

CPJ joined with the PEN American Center and the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran on Wednesday night to host a film screening and panel discussion on the deterioration of press freedom in Iran. Moderated by political satirist Jon Stewart, the panel featured Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari and CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. CPJ and our followers live-tweeted the event, which we have curated below using the social networking tool Storify.

Censorship and power in Iran

Maziar Bahari and Joel Simon in a conversation with Jon Stewart at the School of Visual Arts in New York. The discussion, called "Censorship and power in Iran," included a screening.

A video of the panel discussion is available here.

May 8, 2013 10:54 AM ET

Press Releases   |   Iran

Pre-election crackdown on Iranian media intensifies

New York, May 8, 2013--At least 40 Iranian journalists were behind bars on April 15, 2013, as authorities intensified a crackdown on the independent media ahead of the June presidential elections, a new report by the Committee to Protect Journalists has found. According to the analysis, Iran is the second leading jailer of journalists in the world.

May 7, 2013 5:54 PM ET

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