The US$25,000 prize is awarded yearly
on the recommendation of an independent jury of 14 news professionals from
all regions of the world chaired by French journalist Claude Moisy, President
of UNESCO's Advisory Group for Press Freedom. The
prize has been presented on the occasion of World
Press Freedom Day celebrated May 3.
The laureate, Christina Anyanwu,
is the publisher and editor in chief of "The Sunday Magazine" (Lagos, Nigeria).
According to the World Press Freedom Committee
and Reporters Sans Frontieres
which proposed her for the prize, she is being held in detention in a prison
in the north-east of Nigeria in particularly difficult conditions.
She was arrested following the publication of an article about an attempted coup against the Nigerian government on March 1, 1995, and was condemned to life imprisonment by a special military tribunal in a trial held behind closed doors on July 4, 1995. Her sentence was commuted to 15 years on October 10, 1995. According to the same sources, her trial was marked by numerous irregularities. She was, notably, denied the right of appeal.Christina Anyanwu is one of four journalists held in detention since the attempted coup in her country where infringements of the rights of the journalists and freedom of the press are innumerable.