NEW YORK – Foreign journalists from four nations are being honored with Press Freedom Awards in recognition of their work in the face of severe reprisals, including physical threats and imprisonment.
The Committee to Protect Journalists' 2013 International Press Freedom Awards will be presented Tuesday to Ecuador's Janet Hinostroza, Egypt's Bassem Youssef, Turkey's Nedim Sener and Vietnam's Nguyen Van Hai at a ceremony in New York.
Hinostroza, a TV journalist for the private Ecuadoran channel Teleamazonas, was forced to take a leave of absence from her morning news program after receiving threats over her report on a scandal linking the president's brother to a suspicious loan.
Youssef, a former cardiac surgeon who gained notoriety posting satirical newscasts on YouTube before becoming the host of a show on Egyptian TV, was charged with insulting the president and Islam in 2012. He was detained briefly in 2013 and fined.
In November, Youssef's show "Al Bernameg," or The Program, was suspended shortly before airtime. The Egyptian satellite TV channel, Capital Broadcast Center, cited contractual and editorial differences.
Sener, an investigative journalist with Turkey's Posta newspaper, spent a year in jail awaiting trial on terrorism charges following allegations his reporting contributed to an anti-government plot. He is currently free on conditional release but faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Vietnamese blogger Hai is serving a 12-year prison sentence under a law that bars "conducting propaganda" against the state. Hai's posts on his blog "Dieu Cay," or Peasant's Pipe, attacked government corruption and touched on other controversial issues. Hai's troubles began in 2008 when he was jailed for five months without charges after co-founding the Free Journalists Club of Vietnam.
The annual Press Freedom Awards seek to recognize the type of "courageous reporting that defines free media," the committee said in a statement.