Dawit Isaak, an imprisoned Eritrean-Swedish journalist, on 30 March 2017 was chosen to receive the 2017 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.
Isaak was chosen for the prestigious award in recognition of his courage, resistance and commitment to freedom of expression.
The journalist was arrested in a crackdown on the media that occurred in September 2001. His present location is unknown.
The Prize will be awarded on 3 May 2017, World Press Freedom Day, to be hosted in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Who is Dawit Isaak?
• Born on 28 October 1964, Dawit Isaak is a Swedish-Eritrean playwright, journalist and writer.
• He moved to Sweden in 1987, where he later became a citizen and went into self-imposed exile.
• After the independence of Eritrea, he returned to his homeland to become one of the founders and reporters of Setit, the first independent newspaper in the country.
• He has been held in prison in Eritrea since 2001 without trial and is considered a traitor by the Eritrean government.
• Amnesty International considers him a prisoner of conscience and has called for his immediate and unconditional release.
About UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize
• The UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize was created by UNESCO’s Executive Board in 1997.
• The award 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 Prize is named in honour of Guillermo Cano Isaza, a Colombian journalist who was assassinated in 1986.
Who: Dawit Isaak