Syrian blogger Razan Ghazzawi receives Frontline Defenders Award 2012

Dublin, June 8, 2012.
Syrian blogger Razan Ghazzawi has been awarded the Frontline Defenders Award 2012. Through her work as a blogger and campaigner, Ghazzawi has promoted freedom of expression and human rights in Syria and throughout the Middle East. She has been an active campaigner for journalists and bloggers under threat. Ghazzawi, along with colleagues from the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression, is currently on trial before a Syrian military court charged with “possessing prohibited materials with the intent to distribute them”. A statement accepting the award was read on her behalf, as Ghazzawi is under travel restrictions. Paying tribute to Syrian bloggers and social media activists, she said “Syrian citizen journalists and filmmakers tell the revolution in all its colours, through the good times and the bad times. And many have died doing so.”

At a Ceremony in Dublin City Hall in Ireland the Award was collected on behalf of Ghazzawi by her friend and colleague at the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression, Dishad Othman. The Award was presented by Aryeh Neier, President of the Open Society Foundations and formerly a board member of the PEN American Centre. Mary Lawlor, Executive Director of Frontline, said Ghazzawi “has challenged the repressive forces of the Syrian regime and has chosen not to hide behind a pseudonym but to speak out publically. In doing so she has become a force to be reckoned with.”

PEN International has been campaigning for Ghazzawi and her colleagues at the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression since 17 February 2012. To see PEN’s action please click here

For more information and to see short videos visit the Frontline Defenders website.

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Frank Geary and Ghias Aljundi