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Mazen Darwish honoured with 2015 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize

May 4, 2015 13:00 IST

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on 3 May 2015 presented the 2015 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize to Syrian journalist and rights activist Mazen Darwish.

The award was presented in Latvia on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day in recognition of the work he has carried out in Syria for more than ten year as a human rights defender and a journalist.

About Mazen Darwish
• He is a lawyer, press freedom advocate and is the president of the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression (CMFE) which was founded in 2004.
• He is one of the founders of the Voice newspaper and syriaview.net, an independent news site which was banned by the Syrian authorities.
• He established Media Club in 2011, the first Syrian magazine about media affairs.
• He has been detained by the Syrian Authorities since 16 February 2012 along with Hani Zaitani and Hussein Ghreir, his colleagues at the CMFE on the charges of promoting terrorist acts.
• The UN General Assembly on 15 May 2013 adopted Resolution 67/262 demanding that the Syrian authorities immediately release all persons arbitrarily detained, including the members of the CMFE.
• In January 2014, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) addressed a communication to the Syrian authorities denouncing the arbitrary detention of Darwish and his Media Centre colleagues and called for their immediate release.

In 2014, the award was presented to Ahmet Sik, a Turkish journalist for his investigative work on the controversial Gülen movement of the Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.


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