Inside Iran's Jails: Canadian Journalist Describes Ordeal

OTTAWA, March 2 /CNW Telbec/ - Canadian-Iranian journalist and film maker Maziar Bahari will describe the state of press freedom under the Ayatollahs from his personal experience, at the 12th annual Canadian World Press Freedom Awards luncheon in Ottawa, May 3, World Press Freedom Day.

Mr. Bahari, a reporter for Newsweek, was imprisoned and harshly interrogated for four months following his arrest while covering the Iranian elections in 2009. He was released on bail in October. (See http://freemaziarbahari.org/) Mr. Bahari has written for the New York Times, New Statesman and the Guardian and is an acclaimed documentary film maker.

At its luncheon May 3, hosted by broadcaster Don Newman, the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom (CCWPF) will present the 12th annual Press Freedom Award to a Canadian journalist who has suffered in the cause of press freedom or freedom of expression. The 10th annual International Editorial Cartoon Competition will also reward international cartoonists for submissions on the theme, "The 'right' not to be offended is not a right."

Nominations for the awards will be accepted to March 31.

The Press Freedom Award includes a cash prize of $2,000 and a certificate of honour from the CCWPF and the Canadian Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The International Editorial Cartoon Competition comprises awards of $1,500, $750 and $500.

This year's Awards come as violence against journalists reaches new heights. At least 101 journalists and media workers were killed in 2009, including Canadian Michelle Lang who died in Afghanistan on December 30, 2009, a significant increase from the 87 journalists killed in 2008.

Detail on how to nominate a Canadian journalist or submit cartoons may be found on the CCWPF's website, at http://www.ccwpf-cclpm.ca. A 2010 Press Freedom Award Nomination Form can be found at http://www.ccwpf-cclpm.ca/call-for-nominations.

SOURCE Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom

For further information: For further information: Gord McIntosh, gord@110percent.ca; or Bob Carty, rcarty@sympatico.ca


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