Reeyot Alemu Honored At International Women’s Media Foundation Awards

The International Women’s Media Foundation has honored imprisoned Ethiopian journalist Reeyot Alemu with its 2012 Courage in Journalism Award. Reeyot, who is currently serving a five year term on terror charges, is among four international female writers and reporters recognized at a ceremony held in New York on Wednesday, October 24th. (Photo: IWMF)

By Associated Press

NEW YORK — A columnist imprisoned under Ethiopia’s controversial anti-terrorism laws, an Azerbaijani investigative radio reporter who had surveillance cameras planted in her apartment and a Palestinian blogger who has been beaten and tortured for reporting on abuses and protests in Gaza each received Courage in Journalism awards Wednesday from a women’s media group.

Alemu, 31, is serving a five-year-prison sentence in Ethiopia for the communication of a terrorist act. The IWMF said the only evidence presented against her at trial were articles she wrote criticizing the government and telephone conversations she had regarding peaceful protests. She was initially sentenced in January to 14 years in prison but the sentence was reduced later this year when most of the terrorism charges against her were dropped.

Elias Wondimu, an exiled Ethiopian journalist, accepted the award on Alemu’s behalf and read a handwritten letter she penned from prison.

“When I became politically aware, I understood that being a supporter or member of the ruling party is a prerequisite to living safely and to get a job,” Alemu wrote in the letter. “I knew I would pay the price for my courage and was willing to pay the price.”

Read the full article.
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Related:
Friends and Supporters React to Reeyot Alemu’s Media Award (TADIAS)
Imprisoned Ethiopian reporter wins a Courage in Journalism award (Columbia Journalism Review)
Azerbaijan, Gaza, Ethiopia Women Win Media Awards (AP via ABC News)
Portraits Of Courage: Female Journalists Honored At International Women’s Media Foundation Awards (The Daily Beast)


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