Imprisoned journalist (Dawit Isaak) receives 2011 Golden Pen of Freedom

The founder of Eritrea’s first independent newspaper has been awarded the 2011 Golden Pen of Freedom from the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). Dawit Isaak has been in prison for the past nine years without charge or trial according to WAN-IFRA, which awards the Golden Pen annually to those who show “outstanding action” in support of press freedom. In a release WAN-IFRA says that Isaak, who has dual Eritrean-Swedish citizenship, was imprisoned following the suppression of the independent media in Eritrea in 2001, “one of the worst countries in the world for press freedom”. It was placed bottom of the Reporters Without Borders’ 2010 press freedom index out of 178 countries worldwide and according to WAN-IFRA is Africa’s biggest jailer of journalists. Isaak fled Eritrea in 1987, arriving in Sweden as a refugee and becoming a Swedish citizen in 1992. He later returned to Eritrea in 1996 after the country had gained independence and co-founded what WAN-IFRA claims to be Eritrea’s first independent newspaper, Setit. His whereabouts today are unknown and WAN-IFRA says it calls on Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki to free Isaak immediately.                                                                                                                                                                                         http://www.journalism.co.uk/news/imprisoned-journalist-receives-2011-golden-pen-of-freedom/s2/a541245/

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