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Winners of Reporters Without Borders - Fondation de France 2003 Prize announced

The Reporters Without Borders - Fondation de France Prize for 2003 is awarded to:

-  A journalist who, through their professional work, stance or attitude best demonstrates their commitment to freedom of information. The winner is Moroccan journalist Ali Lmrabet, sentenced to three years in prison, chiefly for publishing cartoons critical of King Mohammed VI and an article raising the Western Sahara issue. Lmrabet resumed a hunger strike on 30 November, following a 50-day fast in the spring that has left him in a fragile state of health (Morocco).

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Hassan Lmrabet, Ali’s brother
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Marocco: Ali Lmrabet claims the freedom to write

...and for the first time :

-  A media that best exemplifies the struggle for the freedom of expression and the right to be informed. This prize goes to the independent newspaper The Daily News , known for its critical stance towards President Mugabe’s regime. Facing systematic harassment and bans by the authorities, it was closed in september 2003 under the access to information and protection of privacy law (Zimbabwe).

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Zimbabwe: The Daily News, a dissenting voice

-  A defender of press freedom. This prize is awarded to Michèle Montas, former director of Radio Haïti Inter, who has devoted herself to the fight against impunity since the murder of her husband, journalist Jean Dominique, in April 2000. She was forced to close the radio station and then leave the country after she too was a victim of an attack at Christmas 2002 (Haïti).

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Haiti: Michèle Montas, an admirable battle against impunity

Reporters Without Borders and the Fondation de France aim - by rewarding a journalist, a media and a defender of press freedom that best embody the state of press freedom in their country - to raise public awareness of the range of onslaughts against freedom of expression and the right to be informed and for the need for commitment to press freedom. Each prize is worth 2,500 euros.

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Since its establishment, the Reporters Without Borders - Fondation de France Prize has been awarded to: Zlatko Dizdarevic (Bosnia-Herzegovina - 1992), Wang Juntao (China - 1993), André Sibomana (Rwanda - 1994), Christina Anyanwu (Nigeria - 1995), Isik Yurtçu (Turkey - 1996), Raúl Rivero (Cuba - 1997), Nizar Nayyouf (Syria - 1998), San San Nweh (Burma - 1999), Carmen Gurruchaga (Spain - 2000), Reza Alijani (Iran - 2001) and Grigory Pasko (Russia - 2002).

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Previous laureates of the "Reporters Without Borders - Fondation de France" Prize 1992 - 2002

Several laureates have been released after being awarded the prize, sometimes weeks, sometimes months later. Among them were Russian journalist Grigory Pasko, winner in 2002, and Burmese journalist San San Nweh, awarded the prize in December 1999 and released in 2001.

The main Reporters Without Borders - Fondation de France Prize was awarded by international judges:

Ekram Shinwari (Afghanistan), Sabine Christiansen (Germany), Michael Rediske (Germany), Andrew Graham-Yooll (Argentina), Rubina Möhring (Austria), Nayeem Islam Khan (Bangladesh), Andrey Bastunets (Belarus), Olivier Basille (Belgium), Colette Braeckman (Belgium), Maung Maung Myint (Burma), Sebastião Salgado (Brazil), Juliana Nieto Cano (Colombia), Claudia Marquez (Cuba), Fernando Castelló (Spain), Maria Dolores Masana Argüelles (Spain), Vicente Verdu (Spain), Domenico Amha-Tsion (Eritrea), Barbara Crossette (United States), Francis Charhon (France), Noël Copin (France), Laurent Joffrin (France), Elise Lucet (France), Pierre Veilletet (France), Alan Rusbridger (Great Britain), Guy Delva (Haïti), Alessandro Oppes (Italy), Sailab Mahsud (Pakistan), Ricardo Uceda (Peru), M’Baya Tshimanga (Democratic Republic of Congo), Alexey Simonov (Russia), Alice Petrén (Sweden), Georges Gordon-Lennox (Switzerland), Sihem Bensedrine (Tunisia), Ben Ami Fihman (Venezuela).

The three other journalists nominated in this category were:

-  Gao Qinrong, journalist with the official Xinhua press agency, sentenced in April 1999 to 13 years in prison for investigating and writing about the failure of an irrigation project in the Yuncheng region, Shanxi Province (China) ;

-  Ricardo González, One of the first independent journalists, correspondent for Reporters Without Borders in Havana since 1998, sentenced like Raúl Rivero to 20 years in prison in April 2003 for "damaging the independence and integrity of the State" (Cuba) ;

-  Ludu Daw Amar, the best known among the Burmese journalists, whose articles are regularly censored by the military junta in power (Burma).

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Profiles of other nominated journalists

For photos, you can call Reporters Without Borders +331 44 83 84 75 or send a mail to communication3@rsf.org

Contacts : Reporters Without Borders - Lucie Morillon - tél : 01 44 83 84 74 - communication2@rsf.org Fondation de France - Magali Mévellec - tél : 01 44 21 31 91 - magali.mevellec@fdf.org




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