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Samir Kassir Award 2017

Three journalists from Syria, Egypt and Iraq rewarded

The EU Delegation to Lebanon organised on 2 June the annual ceremony for the Samir Kassir Award for Freedom of the Press, on the occasion of the 12th anniversary of Samir Kassir’s assassination. The ceremony was held in collaboration with the Samir Kassir Foundation. Three journalists from Syria, Egypt and Iraq rewarded at the ceremony.

The winners of the 2017 edition are:
- Opinion piece category: Issa Ali Khodr from Syria, born in 1993, who is often featured in Hentah magazine, Al-Modon and Al-Joumhouria newspapers. His piece entitled “When do you wish to slaughter me?” was published in Al-Joumhouria on 14 July 2016 and describes the last weeks of a prisoner in the death rows of an ISIS prison in Al-Bab, northern Syria.

- Investigative article category: Ghada El-Sharif from Egypt, born in 1981, an editor and investigative journalist at Al-Masry Al-Youm daily. She supervises the pages dedicated to political Islam and women’s affairs. Her report entitled “The secret world of sex trafficking in Egypt” was published in Al-Masry Al-Youm on 18 December 2016. It is an undercover immersion in the world of marriages for money still prevailing in several Egyptian villages.

- Audiovisual news report category: Asaad Zalzali from Iraq, born in 1984, general manager of Maraya Media news agency. His seven-minute news report entitled “Project No1” was aired on Deutsche Welle Arabic on 11 January 2017. It unveils a major corruption scandal in Iraq that deprived the country from much needed school construction projects because of nepotism, rogue bankers and unaccountable politicians.

The Samir Kassir Award for Freedom of the Press is funded by the European Union, and rewards journalists who have distinguished themselves through the quality of their work and their commitment to human rights and democracy. Organised every year since 2006, the Samir Kassir Award honours the memory of the Lebanese journalist Samir Kassir who was assassinated on 2 June 2005 in Beirut. The competition is open to journalists from the countries of North Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf. This year, the 191 applications that were received bring the total of participants since the creation of the award to more than 1,900. The prize awarded in each of the three categories is of €10,000.


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