Zaheena Rasheed, Maldives Independent: "This award feels like a lifeline"
19 Apr 2017
BY INDEX ON CENSORSHIP

Website Maldives Independent, which provides news in English, is one of the few remaining independent media outlets in a country that ranks 112 out of 180 countries on the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index. In August 2016 the Maldives passed a law criminalising defamation and empowering the state to impose heavy fines and shut down media outlets for “defamatory” content. In September, Maldives Independent’s office was violently attacked and later raided by the police, after the release of an Al Jazeera documentary exposing government corruption that contained interviews with editor Zaheena Rasheed, who had to flee for her safety. Despite the pressure, the outlet continues to hold the government to account.

Thank you very much for this great honour.

We are so humbled and pleased to be here in London with you and very excited about the coming year as Index fellows.

2017 Freedom of Expression Journalism Award-winning Maldives Independent was presented an illustration created by cartoonist Aseem Trivedi

2017 Freedom of Expression Journalism Award-winning Maldives Independent was presented an illustration created by cartoonist Aseem Trivedi.

The day I received Index’s award email was one of my worst days as editor of the Maldives Independent. That was in January – I had already been living in exile for more than six months. Team morale was low: All of us had been arrested and some of us had received death threats. We had faced a police raid on our office. A member of our team, Ahmed Rilwan, had been abducted and disappeared. The space for independent press was narrowing by the day, but public apathy appeared to be growing. We questioned if we were making an impact. And, to make matters worse, there were questions about continued funding for the website. The odds suddenly felt too great to overcome.

And then, we received Index on Censorship’s email.

This award feels like a lifeline.

Most of our challenges remain the same, but this recognition and the fellowship has renewed and strengthened our resolve to continue reporting, especially on the bleakest of days. Most importantly, we no longer feel so alone.

Tonight I want to honour my colleague, Ahmed Rilwan – who embodies the spirit of speaking truth to power, even in the face of the gravest threats. He’s been missing for nearly 1,000 days now. I want to say tonight, that no matter how long it may take, we will continue the search for him and fight for him.

Thank you again to Index on Censorship.

A big thank you to our former editors, for the support and mentorship, and to the Maldives Independent’s brave team, Naish, Hassan, Jundu, Petu, Saya, Shaff and Thy, for your fearless reporting, and to my fellow journalists in the Maldives, for the solidarity. Thank you.

SAGE Publishing’s Ziyad Marar, 2017 Freedom of Expression Award Journalism Fellow Zaheena Rasheed, Maldives Independent’s Ahmed Naish, CNN London bureau chief Tommy Evans (Photo: Elina Kansikas for Index on Censorship)

Ildar Dadin is the 2017 Freedom of Expression Awards Fellow for Campaigning

Speech: Ildar Dadin: “Together, we can refuse to look away”

Profile: #IndexAwards2017: Ildar Dadin courageously defends the right to protest in Russia

For his one-man protests, Ildar Dadin was sent to prison in December 2015 where he was tortured, before his conviction was quashed in February 2017. Read the full profile.

Chinese cartoonist Rebel Pepper is the 2017 Freedom of Expression Awards Fellow for Arts.

Speech: Rebel Pepper: “I will continue working hard on creating new cartoons”

Profile: #IndexAwards 2017: Chinese cartoonist Rebel Pepper refuses to put down his pen

Despite the persecution he faces for his work, Rebel Pepper continues to satirise the Chinese state from a life in exile in Japan. Read the full profile

Turkey Blocks is the 2017 Freedom of Expression Awards Fellow for Digital Activism

Speech: Alp Toker, Turkey Blocks: “Online censorship is increasingly used to mask more severe human rights violations”

Profile: #IndexAwards2017: Turkey Blocks strives to win back the internet

Established in 2015, Turkey Blocks is an independent digital research organisation that monitors internet access restrictions in Turkey. Read the full profile.

Maldives Independent is the 2017 Freedom of Expression Awards Fellow for Journalism

Speech: Zaheena Rasheed, Maldives Independent: “This award feels like a lifeline”

Profile: #IndexAwards2017: Maldives Independent continues to hold government to account despite pressures

Maldives Independent, the Maldives’ premiere English publication and one of the few remaining independent media outlets, was formed in exile in Sri Lanka in 2004. Read the full profile.

Cartoonists Rights Network International continues to monitor the loss of cartoonists from media outlets around the world

Since winning the 2019 Index Award for Campaigning, CRNI has been monitoring the situation with Badiucao, a Chinese dissident cartoonist living in exile in Australia

Se abre el plazo para nominar a las Becas de los Premios a la Libertad de Expresión de Index on Censorship 2020

Ya están abiertas las nominaciones a las Becas de los Premios a la Libertad de Expresión de Index on Censorship.

«Индекс Цензуры» открыл прием заявок на получение «Наград за свободу слова» на 2020 год

Награды присуждаются журналистам, гражданским активистам, интернет-активистам и деятелям искусства, которые борются с цензурой во всем мире Победители получают комплексную поддержку в течение года Номинироваться можно на сайте indexoncensorship.org/nominations Номинации открыты с 1 июля по 31 июля 2019 года #IndexAwards2020 This press release is also available in Arabic, Chinese, English, Portuguese, Spanish Номинации на получение «Наград [...]

2020年度“审查目录”言论自由奖开始提名

•该奖项旨在奖励全球反对审查制度的记者、活动家、数字活动家和艺术家 •获奖者将得到为期一年的综合援助支持 •请在indexoncensorship.org/nominations网站提名 •提名于2019年7月1日至7月31日期间开放 •#IndexAwards2020 This press release is also available in Arabic, English, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish “审查目录”言论自由奖提名现已开放。该奖项已有二十年历史,旨在表彰世界上最杰出之捍卫言论自由英雄。 2020年将迎来言论自由奖二十周年庆,多年来共有87杰出人士位获奖者。自2015年来“审查目录”已扩大奖项计划,支持22名获奖者在国际间开展捍卫言论自由的工作。 该奖项旨在支持世界各地各阶层活动家。历年获奖者包括洪都拉斯调查记者Wendy Funes,叙利亚漫画家Ali Farzat、巴基斯坦教育活动家马拉拉(Malala Yousafzai)、沙特阿拉伯调查记者Safa Al Ahmad和南非LGBTI摄影师Zanele Muholi。 “审查目录”诚挚邀请公众、公民社会组织、非营利组织和媒体组织提名在全球范围内反对审查制度中应得到表彰和支持的任何个人或组织。 我们在以下四个领域各提供一个奖项: •艺术创作:包括艺术家和艺术出品人,他们的作品挑战压迫和不公并倡导艺术自由表达。该提名可包括视觉艺术家、音乐家、漫画家及创意作家。个人或创作集体均可提名。 •活动家:旨在奖励为在反对审查制度和促进当地言论自由方面产生显着影响的活动家和活动人士开展活动。个人或组织提名均可。 •数字行动:旨在奖励为研发开创性技术以绕过审查制度从而实现信息自由和独立交流。提名包含手机应用程序,数字工具或软件。 •新闻工作:旨在奖励勇敢和坚定的新闻报道,揭露审查制度同言论自由所受威胁,要求信息公开。提名包括博客作家、新闻媒体和调查性非营利组织。 所有获奖者都将得到为期12个月的指导,网络及战略支持。获奖者将于年初(2020年4月)受邀参加于伦敦举办为期一周的研讨会、培训及公众活动,期间住宿及其他相关费用由主办方提供。在这一年中,“审查目录”将与获奖者深入合作以提升其工作的影响力、形象及可持续性。 “审查目录”公司首席执行官朱迪·金斯伯格表示:“言论自由奖向世界展示了20年来最无畏、最未被颂扬的言论自由捍卫者。我们试图褒奖那些推动言论自由的团体和个人的工作,他们往往承受巨大的困难及危险。近年来,我们扩大了奖项计划,给予获奖者有针对性的支持和培训来扩大他们的影响。用您的声音提名言论自由奖以确保他们的声音被世人听到。” 2020年奖项候选名单将于2020年初公布。获奖者将由一个高规格的评审小组选出,并于2020年4月在伦敦举行的颁奖仪式上宣布。提名将于2019年7月1日至2019年7月31日下午五时英国标准时间开放。 言论自由奖于2001年启动,旨在提升全球捍卫言论自由的个人和组织的形象。 有关奖项及更多相关信息,请联系Sean Gallagher,电子邮件:[email protected] 关于言论自由奖 2020年将迎来言论自由奖二十周年庆,多年来共有87位获奖者获奖。自2015年来“审查目录”已扩大奖项计划,支持22名获奖者在国际间开展捍卫言论自由的工作。 2020年度获奖者都将获得为期12个月的指导,网络及战略支持。更多信息 关于“审查目录” “审查目录”是一家总部位于伦敦的非营利组织,负责发表被禁作家和艺术家的作品及反对全球审查制度的活动。自1972年成立以来,“审查目录”在其屡获殊荣的季刊中发表了世界著名文学家的作品,包括萨缪尔·贝克特、纳丁·戈迪默、马里奥·巴尔加斯·略萨、亚瑟·米勒和库尔特·冯内古特。并出版了从哈维尔到埃利夫·沙法克等世界世界知名政论作家的作品。 Index at Latitude: Forest FolktalesJoin Index for Forest Folktales at the Latitude [...]

Comments are closed.