Special to the NNPA from the Global Information Network –
Dawit Kebede, one of the first journalists to be jailed for independent reporting on Ethiopia's 2005 election violence and among the last to be released under a presidential pardon nearly two years later will receive the International Press Freedom Award on Nov. 23 from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
Other prizewinners are Nadira Isayeva of Russia, Laureano Márquez of Venezuela, and Mohammad Davari of Iran.
Unlike many of his colleagues who went into exile, Kebede chose to stay in Ethiopia after receiving his freedom from jail in Addis Ababa, where he had been crammed into a communal cell with 350 political prisoners.
In 2008, he was detained for an article titled “freedom of writing should be respected” in the Awramba Times. Today, it is the country's only Amharic-language newspaper that dares question authorities, notes CPJ.
"Here are three things people should know about me," the 30-year-old Kebede says. "First, it is impossible for me to live without the life I have as a journalist. Second, unless it becomes a question of life and death, I will never be leaving Ethiopia. Third, I am not an opposition. As a journalist, whatsoever would be a governing regime in Ethiopia, I will never hesitate from writing issues criticizing it for the betterment of the country.”
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