At CPJ’s International Press Freedom Award ceremony in November 2009, Agence France-Presse’s Somalia correspondent Mustafa Haji Abdinur—an award winner—pleaded with his audience: “Friends, if a journalist is killed the news is also killed. We need your support now more than ever. Please don’t forget us.” Abidnur, 28, has not been forgotten. We are excited to learn that on Saturday he won the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year Award in the Free Press category.
At the ceremony in Kampala, Uganda, organizers said they chose Adbinur for the prize “for his work in Somalia including the ‘Peace Journalism’ initiative which he launched with the help of fellow Somali journalists earlier this year,” according to AFP. The award also recognized “all the journalists in Somalia who have put their lives at risk in telling the story.” Nine journalists were killed in Somalia for their work in 2009 and one in 2010, according to CPJ research.
The CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year Award was founded in 1995 by Edward Boateng and the late Mohamed Amin to “encourage, promote, and recognize excellence in African journalism.” Previous winners include murdered editor Deyda Hydara and imprisoned journalist Musa Saidykhan, both from the Gambia.