Director-General awards UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize to Turkish journalist Ahmet Şık
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today awarded the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize to Turkish investigative reporter Ahmet Şık in a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters.
“Across the world, UNESCO works to support press freedom and enhance the safety of journalists. This is about individual rights and dignity – it is about the rights, dignity and development of entire societies. This is why we must never tire in our commitment to protecting freedom of expression and the women and men who make it real. In this spirit, I congratulate Mr Ahmet Şık for being distinguished by the International Jury for his work for press freedom”, said the Director-General.
“I would like to thank you for this honorable award. There is no doubt that there are many colleagues, both in Turkey and in other countries, who deserve it more than I do. Some of them lost their lives; some of them lost their freedom. So you are giving this Prize to all my friends as well”, said Ahmet Şık.
Ahmet Şık, 44, is a freelance journalist who worked for several Turkish newspapers between 1991 and 2011, including Cumhuriyet, Radikal, Evrensel and Yeni Yüzyil. He has also worked as a photo journalist for the magazine Nokta and Reuters news agency.
A member of the Turkish journalists’ union, Şık is a committed champion of human rights. His reporting has focused on violations against freedom of expression and other human rights.
The UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize was created in 1997 by UNESCO’s Executive Board. The purpose of the Prize is to reward each year a person, organization or institution that has made a notable contribution to the defence or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world, especially if risks have been involved. It is awarded annually on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, celebrated on 3 May.
This year’s ceremony will be followed, on 5 and 6 May, by a conference at UNESCO Headquarters which will examine issues concerning the safety of journalists, the fight against impunity and current developments affecting press freedom.
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