The Committee to Protect Journalists declared that Shahidul Alam from Bangladesh. Mohammad Mosaed from Iran and Dapo Olorunyomi from Nigeria and Russian Svetlana Prokopyeva are the recipients of the 2020 International Press Freedom Awards.
All four journalists were arrested or charged for reporting in retaliation which surely shows the mishandling of powers and on the other hand the power of investigative journalism.
Amal Clooney, human rights advocate, will also win the Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award for the New York Watchdog.
Photojournalist, and the social activist, Shahidul Alam, was arrested in 2018 for a 14-year maximum sentence for uploading a video on social media concerning student protests in Dhaka under a punitive provision of the information- and communications technology law. Following 102 days of detention, Alam was eventually given bail. Alam is also the director of the Pathshala Media Institute and the photo library in Bangladesh.
Freelance journalist Mohammad Mosaed was arrested and investigated for social media posts critical of government management of the outbreak of the coronavirus in February. He has also deleted his social media accounts. In the wake of a national internets suspension in Iran in November 2019, Mosaed had previously been arrested and detained in Evin Prison for 16 days.
Dapo Olorunyomi, co-founder and publisher of Premium Times, is regarded as Nigeria ‘s online media “godfather.” Two years before he was forced to go to hide in 1995, he was charged. In 2017, he was recently detained when police raided the Premium Times office at military orders claiming that the chief of military personnel had been defamed.
Svetlana Prokopyeva is Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty ‘s national correspondent. In early 2019, officials searched her home and detained her for the confiscation of her equipment and personal belongings. Her bank accounts frozen and she was accused of “justifying terrorism.” She was sentenced to 500,000 rubles on July 6 and ordered the fine. The prosecutor demanded a term of six years in jail.
“CPJ honors have set themselves up to report on the news without fear or favor, as brave and dedicated journalists worldwide, to support its people, its countries, and the world. They realized they would face powerful powers who were the enemies of reality, seeking to keep them from carrying out their work with investigative journalism. The COVID-19 was not what they expected. Not only have their jobs become harder and more threatening in terms of the global pandemic, but the world ‘s autocratic leaders have also accelerated an unprecedented suppression of freedom of the press, suppressing unwanted news in order to protect public safety, “added Joel Simon, CPJ’s executive director.
The previous winners include Neha Dixit from India, Patrícia Campos Mello from Brazil, Miguel Mora from Nicaragua, and Lucía Campos Mubyazi from Tanzania. The prizes are presented to CPJ International Press Freedom Awards.