Christiane Amanpour hosted the Committee to Protect Journalists' 2009 International Press Freedom Awards ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Here's the article from Africa News.
Hosted by Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s chief international correspondent and a member of the CPJ board, at the Waldorf-Astoria Hall in New York, USA, the ceremony highlighted the impunity in journalist murders, the recent killings of Philippine journalists, and the Internet’s emerging role in press freedom.
One of the two African awardees, Tunisian Naziha Réjiba, is the editor of the independent online news journal Kalima. She has been the target of continual government intimidation and harassment.
Her home is under constant surveillance, her phones are monitored, and she has been summoned for repeated police interrogations. “I am neither a hero nor a victim,” she told the crowd at the awards ceremony, “but a journalist who wishes to work under normal conditions. The degree of repression in Tunisia is such that it transforms normal activities into something exceptional.”
Mustafa Haji Abdinur, Somalia correspondent for Agence France-Presse, AFP, and editor-in-chief of the independent radio station Radio Simba, told journalists about the danger he faces reporting in one of the world’s deadliest countries for journalists.
“This year alone, six of my colleagues have been killed in Somalia. That makes it the deadliest country in Africa for journalists. No one has had to answer for their deaths,” he said.
“Friends, if a journalist is killed the news is also killed. We need your support now more than ever before. Please don’t forget us.”
About 800 people attended the benefit dinner, which raised more than $1.3 million.
Earlier, Amanpour opened the evening highlighting impunity in the cases of murdered journalists.
Two other awardees from Azerbaijan and Sri Lanka respectively, could not attend the ceremony because of their ongoing imprisonments.