The Committee to Protect Journalists has named three journalists and a media lawyer as recipients of this year’s Press Freedom Awards. The New York-based group says Lúcio Flávio Pinto, who publishes and edits the Brazilian bimonthly newspaper Jornal Pessoal, won for courageous reporting on drug trafficking, environmental devastation and corruption in Brazil’s remote Amazon jungle.
Pinto, who is also a sociologist, worked as a guest professor at University of Florida at Gainesville and Pará’s (northern Brazil) Universidade Federal. He is the author of seven books and contributing writer in several other works. The journalist is an expert in environment and land violence in the Amazon.
Reporter Galima Bukharbaeva of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting won the award for risking her life to cover the brutal Uzbek government crackdown on protesters in the city of Andijan last May. The committee says Ms. Bukharbaeva is now in exile in the United States and faces criminal prosecution in Uzbekistan for her reporting.
Imprisoned Chinese journalist Shi Tao won the award for his essays on political reform. Mr. Shi’s work as a freelance journalist and editor with a Chinese business newspaper, Dangdai Shang Bao, earned him a 10-year prison sentence for allegedly leaking state secrets, but drew attention to Internet censorship in China.
And Zimbabwe media lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa won for what the committee called her tireless defense of press freedoms in a highly restrictive media environment.
The press freedom organization says the four endured beatings, jail and intimidation for their work.
The committee will also honor the late ABC news anchor Peter Jennings with a lifetime achievement award.
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