Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova winner of UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2016

All rights reserved. Khadija Ismayilova

The winner of the 2016 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize is Khadija Ismayilova, an investigative journalist from Azerbaijan, currently imprisoned. The Prize will be awarded during the celebration of World Press Freedom Day, 3 May, which will this year be hosted by Finland.

An independent international jury of media professionals recommended Ms Ismayilova in recognition of her outstanding contribution to press freedom in difficult circumstances. 

“Khadija Ismayilova highly deserves the Prize and I am happy to see that her courage and professionalism are recognized,” said Ljiljana Zurovac, President of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2016 Jury. 

Ms Ismayilova, a freelance journalist and contributor to the Azerbaijani service of Radio Free Europe, was detained in December 2014, and, in September 2015, was sentenced to seven and a half years’ imprisonment on charges relating to abuse of power and tax evasion. 

The Prize will be awarded in Helsinki, during the celebration of World Press Freedom Day, 3 May, hosted by Finland this year. 

Created by UNESCO’s Executive Board in 1997, the annual UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize honours a person, organization or institution that has made an outstanding contribution to the defence and, or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world, and especially when this has been achieved in the face of danger. 

The $25,000 Prize is named in honour of Guillermo Cano Isaza, a Colombian journalist who was assassinated in front of the offices of his newspaper, El Espectador, in Bogotá, on 17 December 1986. It is funded by the Cano Foundation (Colombia) and the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation (Finland). 

Sponsors

The UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize is supported by:

Jury

The prize is awarded on the recommendation of an independent jury of 12 news professionals.

>> See members of the 2015 Prize Jury
>> See members of the 2014 Prize Jury

Previous laureates

The laureats of the World Press Freedom Prize since its creation in 1997

>> More information on laureats

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