A Zimbabwean pastor arrested last week for his #ThisFlag campaign, an Iranian Kurdish journalist covering life as an interned Australian asylum seeker, one of China’s most notorious political cartoonists, and an imprisoned Russian human rights activist are among those shortlisted for Index on Censorship‘s 2017 Freedom of Expression Awards:
Nominees include Pastor Evan Mawarire whose frustration with Zimbabwe’s government led him to the #ThisFlag campaign; Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian Kurdish journalist who documents the life of indefinitely-interned Australian asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea; China’s Wang Liming, better known as Rebel Pepper, a political cartoonist who lampoons the country’s leaders; Ildar Dadin, an imprisoned Russian opposition activist, who became the first person convicted under the country’s public assembly law; Daptar, a Dagestani initiative tackling women’s issues like female genital mutilation that are rarely discussed publicly in the country; and Serbia’s Crime and Corruption Reporting Network (KRIK)*…
Other nominees include Hungary’s Two-tail Dog Party, a group of satirists who parody the country’s political discourse; Honduran LGBT rights organisation Arcoiris, which has had six activists murdered in the past year for providing support to the LGBT community and lobbying the country’s government; Luaty Beirão (right), a rapper from Angola, who uses his music to unmask the country’s political corruption; and Maldives Independent, a website involved in revealing endemic corruption at the highest levels in the country despite repeated intimidation.
Previous winners of the award include education campaigner Malala Yousafzai (2013), assassinated Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya (2002) and anonymous Chinese anti-firewall activists GreatFire.org (2006).
Judges for this year’s awards include Harry Potter actor Noma Dumezweni and former Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown. Winners, who will be announced at a gala ceremony in London on 19 April, become Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards Fellows and are given support for their work, including training in areas such as advocacy and communications.
*KRIK is part of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), a grantee of the National Endowment for Democracy.